Earl Scruggs Celebrated With Google Doodle
Bluegrass fans will see a familiar face if they're searching the internet on Friday (Jan. 11): The iconic Earl Scruggs is the subject of the day's Google Doodle.
Access Google.com on Friday, and you'll be greeted with an animated likeness of banjo master Scruggs, set against an old-timey version of the Google logo. Scruggs' banjo takes the place of the first O in the search engine's name, while the second O is an animated closeup of Scruggs' three-finger-style banjo picking.
According to Google's information page on the Doodle, only Google users in the United States will see the animation. Scruggs' family assisted in the Doodle's creation, launched to mark the fifth anniversary of the grand opening of Shelby, N.C's Earl Scruggs Center, which celebrates the musician's life and "the unique and engaging story of the history and cultural traditions of the region in which Mr. Scruggs was born and raised."
"I very much admired the fact that my dad was not only a world-class musician, but was also willing and eager to teach his musical skills to anyone asking his advice," reflects Scruggs' son, Gary Scruggs. "His banjo instruction book, Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo, is a testimony to his willingness to share his musical “secrets” with the world. And there’s no doubt, he would be very proud that the Earl Scruggs Center offers educational programs and learning experiences to people of all ages."
Scruggs, who would have turned 95 on Jan. 6, is revered for developing the three-finger style of picking, now known as "Scruggs style." At the age of 21, Scruggs joined bluegrass legend Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys band; there, he met guitarist Lester Flatt, and the two broke out on their own as the Foggy Mountain Boys.
Unfortunately, Flatt and Scruggs had differing opinions about the future of their music: Flatt wanted to remain true to their bluegrass roots, while Scruggs wanted to follow more mainstream sounds. They parted ways in 1969, with Flatt forming a bluegrass band, Nashville Grass, and Scruggs founding the contemporary-sounding Earl Scruggs Revue.
Flatt and Scruggs were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. Their Foggy Mountain Boys were immortalized in the 2000 blockbuster film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which featured a band named the Soggy Bottom Boys as a tribute to their iconic music.
Scruggs is also a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame. He also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a National Medal of the Arts. Scruggs died on March 28, 2012.
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