They call them "Big Bang Moments", those instances in the stream of history where something big happens. Think when John Lennon met Paul McCartney. Think when Penn met Teller. Think when Lewis met Martin. The world is unaware at the time, but the world would look back and say, "something truly history changing happened there'.  It is the same when Lester Flatt met Earl Scruggs.

The foundation of Bluegrass was well served with Bill Monroe and the others, but when Flatt and Scruggs got together, it was moved to a whole new level.

The great Earl Scruggs died from natural causes at the age of 88 yesterday. For those who love bluegrass, the sound that Earl could bring out of a banjo took your breath away and made you ask...man, how did he get THAT sound?

Country music is a whoooole lot different today than when Earl Scruggs was a' pickin'.  The industry has become just that, an industry that controls billions of dollars in music, merchandise and entertainment.  As time goes by, fewer and fewer people will remember the foundation.  Oh, sure, history books will show the rhinetone suits, the hillbilly attitude, the banjos, the guitars, the steel...but the ones who started it all will one day be on a par with those characters you'll know only through research and (if you're lucky) one heck of an album collection.

It's hard to believe, but really before Earl Scruggs, the banjo was just a rhythm instrument. It took a genius to bring out front. That genius was Earl Scruggs.

Rest in peace.  And who knows when the next Big Bang will occur.

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