The B List: Earl Scruggs (R.I.P.) In Action

Yesterday we lost a musical legend and a fearless pioneer who was never afraid to collaborate with anyone he thought he could make good music with, regardless of what the country music establishment thought. In doing so, Earl Scruggs, who was 88, helped introduce bluegrass to legions of music fans over three different generations from a wide range of backgrounds.

For this week’s B List, we pay tribute to Scruggs by presenting 10 outstanding clips of Earl doing what he does best – three-finger picking his beloved banjo.

1. Scruggs and a ridiculous ensemble of musicians including Steve Martin, Albert Lee, Marty Stuart and Leon Russell perform Foggy Mountain Breakdown on The Late Show with David Letterman…

Scruggs et al – Foggy Mountain Breakdown

2. Earl Scruggs plays Fireball Mail on one of the Martha White shows in the ’60s.

Scruggs – Fireball Mail

3. This 86-minute documentary from 1972 tells Earl’s story…

Earl Scruggs – The Bluegrass Legend

4. Bluegrass legends old and new including Scruggs, Vassar Clements, Bela Fleck and Sam Bush perform Salty Dog on Austin City Limits…

Scruggs and Fleck – Salty Dog

5. Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys make a television appearance in the early ’60s to perform You Set Your Fields On Fire…

Lester Flatt + Earl Scruggs – You Set Your Fields On Fire

6. Alison Krauss teams up with Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs and Doc Watson to perform Storms Are On The Ocean in 2003…


Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss – Storms Are On The Ocean

7. Earl enlists Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Alison Krauss and Vince Gill for this live performance of Little Girl of Mine in Tennessee from 1994.


Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Marty Stuart, Allison Krauss and Vince Gill – Little Girl of Mine in Tennessee

8. Taken from the documentary listed as #3 on this list, here’s Earl Scruggs collaborating with The Byrds…


Earl Scruggs and The Byrds

9. Straight from a 1964 television program, Scruggs picks away at the home of famed psychologist and noted music fan Dr. Nat Winston in Tennessee…

Earl Scruggs playing banjo at Dr Nat Winston’s house

10. We couldn’t end without another take on Foggy Mountain Breakdown. This one comes from the heyday of Flatt & Scruggs in 1965 at the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium…


Flatt and Scruggs – Foggy Mountain Breakdown

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