Earl Scruggs, one half of the duo Flatt and Scruggs, banjo pioneer and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee, died Wednesday in a Nashville, Tenn., hospital. He was 88.
Scruggs' son Gary told the Associated Press that his father died of natural causes.
Born in Shelby, N.C., Scruggs first gained prominence in the 1940s as a member of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys. While with Monroe, Scruggs popularized the syncopated, three-finger style of banjo playing that would subsequently become known as the "Scruggs style."
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Scruggs paired with fellow Monroe band member Lester Flatt later in the decade to form Flatt and Scruggs. Though the group won a Grammy Award in 1969 for Scruggs' instrumental "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," the group is probably best known to a general audience for "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," which became the theme song for the sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies." The duo appeared numerous times on the series.
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Flatt and Scruggs were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.
Scruggs would go on to win a second Grammy in 2002, for a 2001 version of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" recorded with an ensemble that included comedian Steve Martin, Vince Gill, Albert Lee, Paul Shaffer, Leon Russell and Marty Stuart.