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Bluegrass Artists Congregate at Earl Scruggs Center Opening

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Earl Scruggs Center StatueScores of bluegrass artists converged on Shelby, North Carolina Saturday for the grand opening of the Earl Scruggs Center: Music & Stories from the American South. The celebration include bluegrass, country and Americana artists who have either been influenced by Scruggs or have performed with him. Earl Scruggs is credited with the 3-Finger picking style that has become a trademark of bluegrass. Scruggs also performed many other styles and with a broad range of performers.

Sam Bush, joined Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, Rob Ickes, Jim Mills, Gary Scruggs and Randy Scruggs on stage. Scruggs sons, Gary and Randy, were in attendance as were Governor Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry. Darin and Brooke Aldridge also performed at the opening celebration.

What has been described as a bluegrass flash mob began with just a single banjo player. Other streamed in playing fiddle, guitar and other bluegrass instruments until the entire stage was echoing the sounds of the music that Earl helped make famous.

The sold-out standing room only "Remembering Earl: Music & Stories" celebration encompassed family, friends, musicians, government and just plain fans of Earl Scruggs and his music. The weather changed some of the schedule as some outdoor events were moved indoors however, that didn't dampen the energy or excitement of the opening.

The Center will explore Mr. Scruggs’ innovative career and the community that gave it shape while celebrating how he crossed musical boundaries and defined the voice of the banjo to the world. Mr. Scruggs embraced tradition while also adapting to the changing times and looking toward the future—themes which resonate throughout the Center. Engaging exhibits, special event space and rich programming provide a uniquely rich experience for visitors.

Earl Scruggs made his mark with the birth of bluegrass music as a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys and later with partner Lester Flatt when they performed with their band the Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs is credited with creating the 3-finger style of picking the 5-string banjo now called "Scruggs Style." It is that sound that has popularized bluegrass music and gives it a unique sound. Scruggs played with many other styles of music but continued to drive his banjo using the Scruggs Style.

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