Centennial Celebrations Continue with 100 Years of Earl Scruggs!

by Technology Librarian, Josh

Image from Earl Scruggs Center

For the library’s centennial we’re hosting a series of music programs that look back at the amazing music and musicians celebrating 100 years! 

Commemorate the godfather of the banjo, Earl Scruggs, for his 100th birthday on July 14th. A Tea at Three performance by the acclaimed bluegrass band, Appalachian Swing, will pay tribute to his brilliant musicianship and legacy. 

Image from Bluegrass Today

Scruggs became a pivotal member of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in 1945, which defined the classic bluegrass sound we all know and love today. This band set the foundation for the bluegrass genre with their instrumentation, song selection, and improvisation between members. A large part of the bluegrass sound came from a playing style Scruggs’ pioneered on the banjo, generally called the “three-fingered” technique, which allowed him to play at faster speeds with clarity and a focus on melody. Steve Martin said it best, “Before [Scruggs], no one had ever played the banjo like he did. After him, everyone played the banjo like he did.” 

A couple of other music programs we’re excited about include Todd Stoll and the Uptown Bootleggers playing Music of the Roaring 20s on August 15th. And for the third year in a row, we’re hosting Musicians for Silent Film who are performing live music to Hitchcock’s silent masterpiece, The Lodger. This is the epic finale of our Hitchcock Through the Decades film series taking place on Oct 26th. These music programs promise to be an unforgettable tribute to influential figures and milestones in the world of music and film. We hope you’ll help us celebrate since turning 100 only happens once!

  • The Essential Earl Scruggs | CD
  • Earl Scruggs and the 5-String Banjo | Printed Music
  • The Very Best of Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys | CD