The banjo player Earl Scruggs died Wednesday morning. A member of Bill Monroe‘s Blue Grass Boys and later a leader of Flatt & Scruggs with guitarist Lester Flatt, Scruggs helped define the sound of bluegrass. He died of natural causes in a Nashville hospital, according to his son. He was 88 years old.
Scruggs was famed for his three-finger picking technique, which revolutionized banjo playing and even took on his name: Scruggs style. Scruggs’ 1949 instrumental “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” won a Grammy award twice — once in 1968 after it appeared in the film Bonnie and Clyde, and again in 2001 for a recording that featured many celebrity guests. His picking was also featured on “The Ballad of Jed Clampett,” the theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies TV show.