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Author Goldsmith, Thomas, 1952- author.

Title Earl Scruggs and Foggy mountain breakdown : the making of an American classic / Thomas Goldsmith.

Publication Info. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2019]


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Brand Library Non-Fiction    780.92 Scruggs,E GOL    Available
1 copy being processed for GDL Brand Library Non-Fiction.
Description x, 177 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Series Music in American life
Music in American life.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 159-167) and index.
Contents Out to follow Scruggs's path -- "I grew up around a banjo" -- The Piedmont's rich musical soil -- Early professional days -- Joining Bill Monroe -- Working as a blue grass boy -- Flatt and Scruggs build a career -- Recording "Foggy mountain breakdown" -- "Like a jackhammer" -- How the tune works -- The number-one banjo player -- The Beverly hillbillies welcomes the banjo -- Riding with Bonnie and Clyde -- Scruggs without Flatt : a period of transition -- Scruggs's banjo gains a cult following -- Reaping the harvest.
Summary "Less than three minutes long and involving no lyrics, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" is a banjo-led song that changed the face of American music. Composed and recorded by Earl Scruggs in 1949, the song went on to transform and modernize folk culture of the early 20th century, its effects extending far beyond bluegrass. The captivating sound of the piece helped rejuvenate the banjo, an instrument that had been vanishing from the mainstream of American music; its unforgettable twang and cadence ushered the banjo and backwoods into American popular culture by providing the soundtrack for "The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Bonnie and Clyde"; its close relationship to "Blue Grass Breakdown," a song composed by Scruggs' one-time bandleader Bill Monroe, illustrates the fungible nature of intellectual property in the early days of country music; and the song's advanced compositional techniques and technical difficulty helped distinguish Scruggs as one of a small handful of principals of acoustic music. Relying on primary sources, including interviews with Scruggs and his wife and manager, Louise, as well as with Curly Seckler, the only surviving musician from the 1949 recording, this project examines the story surrounding "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Along the way, Goldsmith reveals much about Scruggs's career and the evolution of his influential style. No such examination about Scruggs or his famous song exists, so this project is positioned to make a strong contribution to the history of bluegrass"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Scruggs, Earl.
Scruggs, Earl. Foggy mountain breakdown.
Banjoists -- United States -- Biography.
Bluegrass musicians -- United States -- Biography.
Genre/Form Biographies.
ISBN 9780252042966 (cloth)
0252042964 (cloth)
9780252084782 (paperback)
0252084780 (paperback)

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