Early Influences


Watertown High School

Earl Scruggs

Came to Fame With

Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, 1955-1969

From the Archives

“Wheeling across a great part of our nation is the freshest, and yet the oldest, sound in folk music. There’s a banjo boom and the leaders are Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.”
Louise Scruggs, in liner notes to Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs: Folk Songs of Our Land, Columbia CD 1830, 1962.
“Mr. Perry Botkin, the former Music Director for [The Beverly Hillbillies], phoned me three weeks before the show went on the network, and said they would like to have Flatt & Scruggs record the theme for the show. I had read about the new series in the trade papers, but I didn’t have any idea what kind of image the show would have, since the word ‘hillbilly’ is supposedly not a very acceptable word with musicians. After discussing this, Mr. Botkin assured me there was nothing derogatory in the show. Two days later, he was in Nashville, the theme was taped, and he was on his way back to California. Just before the show went on the network, I phoned that I thought the theme would make a good record. Two days later, he was back in Nashville, the theme was recorded by Columbia Records, and in five weeks in the Top 100 in the trade papers, Flatt and Scruggs had their first “pop” hit. In the meantime, The Beverly Hillbillies had a hit, the show was in the #1 position nationwide for almost two straight years!!!”
Louise Scruggs, quoted by Dixie Deen, from “The ‘Woman’ Behind the Man,” in Music City News magazine, November, 1965.
“Everybody always thought Louise was tough and hard. To me she was one of the finest people you’d ever want to meet. Earl and Louise have been awful good to me. They was business, strictly business. If I borrowed $100 out of that company, I had to sign a note, son. And that ain’t nothing but business.”
-Josh Graves, in Bluegrass Bluesman: A Memoir, University of Illinois Press, 2012