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Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain BreakdownThe Making of an American Classic$
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Thomas Goldsmith

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042966

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042966.001.0001

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Working as a Blue Grass Boy

Working as a Blue Grass Boy

(p.34) 6 Working as a Blue Grass Boy
Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Thomas Goldsmith

University of Illinois Press

After joining Bill Monroe in 1945, Earl Scruggs was to became part of a famous ensemble known as the “classic” Blue Grass Boys. Along with Monroe, guitarist-singer Lester Flatt, fiddler Chubby Wise, and bassist Cedric Rainwater (Howard Watts), Scruggs built the foundation of bluegrass music. The quintet recorded such staples as "Will You Be Loving Another Man," "Mollie and Tenbrooks," "Wicked Path of Sin," and "Little Georgia Rose." Monroe was a highly creative musician but had failings in Scruggs’s opinion, because he wasn’t reliably on time for band departures or even for shows. A long-standing conflict between Monroe and Scruggs involves the authorship of the instrumentals “Blue Grass Breakdown,” credited to Monroe, and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” which bears Scruggs’s name. Each man claimed the other had stolen his composition.

Keywords:   Earl Scruggs, banjo, Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Jerry Douglas, Mac Wiseman, singer-songwriter, Curly Seckler, Blue Grass Boys, bluegrass music

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