On Sunday, my father (Joe Mullins) and I sat and listened to every minute of a funeral for a man I had only been around once. Why would the passing of someone who I didn’t even know personally cause my eyes to swell up with tears?
For one, there is enough evidence to suggest that there would not be bluegrass music without Earl Scruggs. The middle finger on his right hand transformed the banjo from what was often little more than a stage prop, to a powerful tool for solo and accompaniment playing with seemingly endless possibilities. Earl’s unique style of playing the banjo was the missing piece to Monroe’s puzzle, and solidified what we now know as bluegrass.