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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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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

The Beverly Hillbillies Welcomes the Banjo

The Beverly Hillbillies Welcomes the Banjo

(p.91) 11 The Beverly Hillbillies Welcomes the Banjo
Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Thomas Goldsmith

University of Illinois Press

In 1962, Flatt and Scruggs showed up on a weekly television show that quickly grabbed tens of millions of weekly viewers, the mainstream of American pop culture. This increased television presence kicked off Flatt and Scruggs’s years of greatest popularity and commercial success. Created and produced by Paul Henning, “The Beverly Hillbillies” was the top-rated television show for its first two seasons, 1962-1963 and 1963-1964. Each of the show’s 274 episodes featured the sound of Scruggs’s banjo. Seven episodes presented Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs playing themselves, alongside such show-biz veterans as Buddy Ebsen and Irene Ryan. As bluegrass started to gain fans from nontraditional audiences, Flatt and Scruggs benefited but were seen as less hard-core than Monroe and the Stanley brothers. However, the 1960s presented both hit records and arguments over musical style. Flatt didn’t like the Bob Dylan songs that Scruggs wanted to record. The duo parted ways in 1969.

Keywords:   Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, banjo, “The Beverly Hillbillies”, Mike Seeger, Alice Gerrard, Bob Dylan, Buddy Ebsen, Paul Henning, Bill Monroe

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