Friday Five: Earl Scruggs
Earl Scruggs turns 88 today, so to celebrate the five-string legend—who is also a mighty fine guitar player and singer—we reached out to a few of the myriad banjo players he’s has influenced over the past sixty-plus years and asked them to select their favorite Scruggs tune. Give a listen to the four songs below while you check out the Tennessean‘s Scruggs photo gallery, and tell us: what’s your personal favorite Earl Scruggs song? This morning, mine is “Ground Speed.”
Eric Gibson: My favorite is “Flint Hill Special” because Earl’s recording of it on the Carnegie Hall album is what hooked me on banjo. His playing was electric and the crowd’s reaction sent a chill up my spine. I love how he and the band obliged and played through the song again. Earl knew how to tickle your ear with his playing, and I think “Flint Hill Special” is a perfect example.
Guitar: “You Are My Flower.” Because, next to Maybelle Carter, it’s the best.
Lee Marcus: My personal favorite Earl Scruggs tune is “Reuben.” It is one of the simplest, yet most soulful banjo instrumentals written thus far. And no one can play it with more soul than Mr. Scruggs.
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