Flatt and Scruggs
- Neil V. Rosenberg
- , revised by Gregory N. Reish
Bluegrass and country duo. Lester (Raymond) Flatt (b Duncan’s Chapel, TN, June 14, 1914; d Nashville, TN, May 11, 1979; vocals, guitar) and Earl (Eugene) Scruggs (b Flint Hill, NC, January 6, 1924; d Nashville, TN, March 28, 2012; banjo, guitar) played a major role in popularizing bluegrass music. From rural homes, both began playing music with their families and in church at an early age. Flatt worked in textile mills in Tennessee and Virginia before moving to Burlington, North Carolina, where he joined Clyde Moody’s band as a full-time musician in 1940. In 1943, Charlie Monroe hired Flatt as mandolinist and tenor singer in the Kentucky Pardners. Scruggs played guitar from childhood in the thumb-lead style popularized by Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family, and by age ten was playing banjo with his older brothers in a three-finger picking style influenced by local musicians Smith Hammett and Dewitt “Snuffy” Jenkins. In ...