Talk:Earl Scruggs

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DeWitt "Snuffy" Jenkins does seem to have been sidelined in banjo, bluegrass, Scruggs style and in this article. He was not even listed in banjo players. I believe Earl did acknowledge that he was influenced by Snuffy's three-finger style and I propose it might be more accurate to say that Earl 'developed' and popularised the style rather than creating it all on his own. I believe that Don Reno is reported to have said that Snuffy and the young Earl played in the same three-finger style, although this may have been a simpler forerunner of Earl's later developments. This opens up the question of what exactly Cumberland Gap and Sally Goodin sounded like when Earl and Snuffy played the tunes around 1934 (Earl being around ten years old).

It is also reported that Don Reno was playing in his own unique style before he even heard Earl Scruggs playing "bluegrass" and that he couldn't accept Bill Monroe's offer to join his band because of impending military service.

To be fair to Snuffy, I therefore propose something along the lines of "Influenced by early pioneers of the three-finger style, notably DeWitt "Snuffy" Jenkins, Earl Scruggs developed and refined his own style of banjo playing. The rapid-fire syncopated "Scruggs" style became one of the defining elements of bluegrass, as made popular by Bill Monroe and the Blue Grass Boys." Comments appreciated. Ophir 02:37, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Good points all. I have also heard that Scruggs did not invent the three-finger roll but rather refined and popularised it, and that Don Reno had already developed his three-finger style before he heard Scruggs. I have heard that this was a common style of banjo playing in the area of North Carolina in which Scruggs grew up (I cannot remember for sure but I believe Reno was from the same general area, which would lend credence to this argument). Before specifically mentioning DeWitt "Snuffy" Jenkins, I think we should seek a source for the claim, but it is certainly reasonable to immediately change the article to say that Scruggs "refined and popularized" the three-finger roll, now known as Scruggs-style banjo playing. Cmadler 13:33, 3 January 2006 (UTC)


Perhaps there could be some mention of his Anti-Vietnam stance? This was a pretty big deal back in the day, as all his country cohorts were pro war (See: dixie chicks 2003). Just food for thought. --Boss hogg01 17:01, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

The Beverly Hillbillies[edit]

Flatt and Scruggs performed the theme song at the start and end of each episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, and appeared a few times in early episodes, once as rivals for Cousin Pearl's affection; they performed a comic duet, Pearl, Pearl, Pearl, accompanying themselves, of course, on their banjos. I can't see quite how to work this into the article. J S Ayer (talk) 00:30, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

How about an edit to the Foggy Mountain Boys article? Seems like a better fit there since it deals with the band, maybe in the Notable songs section which already mentions the Beverly Hillbillies. I also recall watching Flatt & Scruggs on their own TV show in the 1960's, but I don't have any of the details handy. Regards, Chuckiesdad (talk) 01:27, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

I see, it's there already. Thank you! J S Ayer (talk) 01:06, 23 November 2008 (UTC)


I am certain that the famous tune is "Foggy Mountain Breakdown". I'm going to be bold and change it, and will attempt to find a ref. Ragityman (talk) 05:08, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

He did do a song called "Foggy Mountain Special" also. In the absence of any citatation or further explanation on that point, I'm changing it back for now. I'll refresh my memory by listening to each this afternoon and see if the statement makes more sense in the context of one or the other. cmadler (talk) 15:53, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your attention to this. I may have been a little quick on the trigger: I've since read the entire article and see that both titles are mentioned.
Ragityman (talk) 16:44, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
After refreshing my memory about "Foggy Mountain Special" I'm sure it's the right one. If you're not familiar, this is "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" -- it's the one that was used in Bonnie and Clyde -- and this is "Foggy Mountain Special" (Jim Mills' performance here is the best demonstration I could quickly find of how Scruggs played it on the original recording). I think it's pretty obvious that the latter is the one more featuring "blues and jazz phrases, evident in backup and in solos." cmadler (talk) 05:10, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

Questions and comments[edit]

1. If the album "Strictly Instrumental" is listed in the discography of Earl Scruggs, then it should also be listed under the discography of Lester Flatt. However, since the album is technically a Foggy Mountain Boy's album, it should not appear in the discography because it's not a solo album.

2. "Changin' times" and "Nashville airplane" are listed under 1969 and 1970 but the discography for the Foggy Mountain Boys has them under 1968. shows them both under 1968. What dates are correct?

ICE77 (talk) 00:40, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

"Foggy Mountain Breakdown" was composed by Earl Scruggs probably in 1948 because it is on one of the three albums that Flatt and Scruggs recorded for Mercury Records. The Wikipedia article implies that Foggy Mountain Breakdown was written for the Bonnie and Clyde movie which came out in the late 1960's, but that's not true. It is true that the movie gave the song a lot of exposure and helped to expand the popularity of "bluegrass music". A predecesor to "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" was a song called "Bluegrass Breakdown" which Earl Scruggs played when he and Lester Flatt were in the Bill Monroe's band. It goes from the chord of G to the F chord instead of from G to E minor chord as is in Foggy Mountain Breakdown.
The second point is about the album "Strictly Instrumental" was definitely a Flatt and Scruggs project with guest artist Doc Watson, and the Foggy Mountain Boys were on the album. To promote the album, Doc was the guest artist at least once on their live Saturday afternoon TV show on Channel 4 WSM in Nashville. I saw it.
There are many albums, both solo and by the "Earl Scrugs Review" group, that are not listed here. I remember an "Earl Scruggs and Friends" album on Columbia in the early '80's that had Earl playing and vocals by Lacy J. Dalton, John Conlee and several other artists of that time.
Comments by Alan Miller, — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't see what is the relation of the first entry to my comments. That section should be made into a separate entry.

What you call "second" entry is actually my first entry.

I am not disputing the missing albums. I am disputing the dates mismatch.

ICE77 (talk) 07:24, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Possible Bluegrass Wikiproject or task force?[edit]

Dear bluegrass enthusiasts: I am trying to find out if there is any interest in forming a bluegrass wikiproject, or possibly a task force underthe "roots music" project. If you would like to take part, please leave a message at User talk:Anne Delong/Bluegrass Topics, or if you would like to see what has been done so far, you can check out User:Anne Delong/Bluegrass Topics . There are hundreds of articles which are linked to the 'bluegrass music' page, and some of them could use a little sprucing up. —Anne Delong (talk) 04:34, 21 March 2013 (UTC)