Friday, March 30, 2012

Earl Scruggs RIP

Cripple Creek, my favorite:

Afterthoughts: I'm feeling impelled to retell some Scruggs stories. I can't find my copy of the biography I read a while back (I hope I didn't send it to Goodwill), but let me wing it and hope I'm right: by my recollection, he was born dirt poor and then his father died. He learned to play the banjo before he could hold it; he put it on the floor and knelt beside it.

As an unknown young muscian, he once left the road to go back to the cotton mill because it paid better. As a struggling performer, he and the band would operate for days at a time out of the car, one driving while the others slept. Mrs. Buce asked, did they bring a change of underwear?

By all the evidence that I've seen, as modest, decent and unassuming a man as ever walked the earth. And a stupefying performer.


marcel said...

According to the obit in the NYTimes, he and his sons performed at the 1969 Moratorium! It's not clear from the way the sentence is written whether he played there with Flatt or with his sons.

marcel said...

I should re-read, or preview, before hitting publish. Anyway, whether he was there with his sons or with Flatt or both is not clear.