Earl Scruggs Hospitalized in North Carolina
Earl Scruggs has been hospitalized in North Carolina with an undisclosed illness. The Bluegrass Blog reports that the legendary musician was in Chapel Hill on Wednesday (September 15) for a sold-out show on the University of North Carolina campus but had to be taken to the hospital shortly after arriving to the venue.
Family members say the 86-year-old banjo great is feeling better today and that his condition is not cause for serious concern.
One of the most important figures in bluegrass history, Earl is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner. His rapid style of three-finger banjo picking, dubbed "Scruggs Style," has been used by countless bluegrass and country artists in his musical wake.
Earl got his big break playing in the Father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe's band in the mid 1940s. He left with fellow bandmate Lester Flatt to form the Foggy Mountain Boys. After two decades of playing together, Flatt and Scruggs won their first Grammy in 1968 for their instrumental 'Foggy Mountain Breakdown,' now a bluegrass classic. (Earl won another Grammy for his performance of the same song in 2001, alongside several guest musicians including Steve Martin, Vince Gill and Jerry Douglas.) Flatt and Scruggs, along with Jerry Scoggins, also wrote and performed 'The Ballad of Jed Clampett' -- the theme to the TV sitcom, 'The Beverly Hillbillies.'
The Foggy Mountain Boys broke up in 1969 due to artistic differences. Earl soon formed the Earl Scruggs Revue with his two sons. His beloved wife, the late Louise Scruggs, will be posthumously inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame this year.