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  Bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs dies at age 88
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Last EditedThomas Walker  Mar 29, 2012 10:30am
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AuthorChris Talbott
MediaNewspaper - San Francisco Chronicle
News DateThursday, March 29, 2012 04:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionIt may be impossible to overstate the importance of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs to American music. A pioneering banjo player who helped create modern country music, his sound is instantly recognizable and as intrinsically wrapped in the tapestry of the genre as Johnny Cash's baritone or Hank Williams' heartbreak.

Scruggs died Wednesday morning at age 88 of natural causes. The legacy he helped build with bandleader Bill Monroe, guitarist Lester Flatt and the rest of the Blue Grass Boys was evident all around Nashville, where he died in an area hospital. His string-bending, mind-blowing way of picking helped transform a regional sound into a national passion.
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