Foggy Mountain Boys

From ArticleWorld

The Foggy Mountain Boys were a bluegrass band and a large influence in the founding of the special style of country music. The band's featured members were Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. They performed and recorded during the late 1950’s and 1960’s.

Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs met while playing together in the Blue Grass Boys, a band started by the father of bluegrass himself, Bill Monroe. Both of them left the band in 1948 and soon formed their own group. They carried a very distinctive sounds with Scruggs’ exceptional banjo playing and Flatt’s vocals. Other members of the band included musicians like Chubby Wise on fiddle and Cedric Rainwater on bass, who were also a member of the Blue Grass Boys band. They became members of the Grand Ole Opry in 1955.

One of the bands best known songs, their signature song in fact, is the Foggy Mountain Breakdown. It is an instrumental that is often used in movies and has won two Grammy awards. Some of their other songs are also used in today’s media, such as "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" (theme for the television series the Beverly Hillbillies).

Scruggs had always shown interest in other styles and genres of music and he often played (or experimented rather) with saxophonist King Curtis. He even added some songs by artists like Bob Dylan to the groups song list. Flatt was more of a traditionalist and did not welcome these changes at all. This difference in opinion caused the group to break up in 1969.

After the breakup of the Foggy Mountain Boys, Lester Flatt began the Nashville Grass and Earl Scruggs started the Earl Scruggs Revue. Flat and Scruggs were both inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985. Flatt died in 1979 and Scruggs still performs on occasion.