Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs Dies at 88

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Country music fans across the nation are in mourning over the death of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs, who passed away Wednesday at the age of 88.

Musicians say the North Carolina native literally revolutionized the art of banjo playing.

"It's not just bluegrass, it's American music," bluegrass fan turned country star Dierks Bentley said. "There's 17- or 18-year-old kids turning on today's country music and hearing that banjo and they have no idea where that came from."

"That sound has probably always been there for them and they don't realize someone invented that three-finger roll style of playing. You hear it everywhere," he said.

Scruggs was part of the country music duo Flatt and Scruggs for decades.

The group produced such famous hits as "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." They also performed the music for the famous opening to hit television show, "The Beverly Hillbillies."

In a 2010 interview, Scuggs recalled his "big bang" moment when he performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 1945.

"I'd heard The Grand Ole Opry and there was tremendous excitement for me just to be on The Grand Ole Opry," Scruggs said.

"I just didn't know if or how well I'd be accepted because there'd never been anybody to play banjo like me here," he recalled. "There was Stringbean and Grandpa Jones. Most of them were comedians."

Scruggs is survived by his two sons, Gary and Randy. His wife, Louise, passed away in 2006.

"I think Earl was ready to go see Louise," Bentley said. "I think he was ready to go. But we're lucky. We've got a lifetime of his music that's recorded to listen to and he's in a better place."

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