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SESSION 2 Materials (For March 6): Earl Scruggs and the Mercury Sessions (1948–50) Part 1
In this session, will Bill talk about Flatt and Scruggs’s groundbreaking Mercury Sessions, in particular Earl’s playing on the songs “Down the Road,” “No Mother or Dad,” “Why Don’t You Tell Me So,” and the iconic banjo instrumental “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” Bill is joined for this session by 1996 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Charlie Cushman, and Thomas Goldsmith, author of Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown: The Making of an American Icon.
“Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown: The Making of an American Icon,” by Thomas Goldsmith, 2019, University of Illinois Press. Session 2 (March 6): Chapters 7 & 8
“Earl Scruggs and the Five-String Banjo,” by Earl Scruggs, 2005 edition, Hal Leonard Corporation. Take a look at tab to “Foggy Mountain Breakdown.” I’ll help you decipher it in our March 6 class.
Flatt and Scruggs and The Stanley Brothers Live on WCYB, Bristol, VA/TN 1948-49
Flatt and Scruggs “The Mercury Sessions” (28 cuts)
Listen to all cuts as time allows. For March 6 class, listen especially to:
“Foggy Mountain Breakdown” We will discuss this tune in depth on March 6. Have your copy of “Earl Scruggs and the Five-String Banjo” handy.
“Down the Road” (from “Live at Carnegie Hall,” recorded December 1962)
SESSION 1 Video, from Saturday, February 20
Bill Evans kicked off his eight-session live workshop, Earl Scruggs: A Player’s Guide, on Saturday, February 20, with a great class that looked at Earl’s influences and his early days with Bill Monroe. You can watch the full video from that session above.
Bill has created an extensive listening and reading list to get us ready for the workshop series, and you can find that below. He also created tab that he refers to during Session 1, including tab for “Cripple Creek,” “Molly and Tenbrooks,” “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me,” and “Blue Grass Breakdown.” Please see below to download or save those materials.
Your next session is on Saturday, March 6 and we look forward to seeing you then!
SESSION 1 Materials (From February 20): Earl with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, 1946–47
“Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain Breakdown: The Making of an American Icon,” by Thomas Goldsmith, 2019, University of Illinois Press, week one pages 27-43. Goldsmith’s book is available on Amazon (Kindle, paperback, hard cover). The first assignment of pages 27-43 can be read on the “Look Inside” feature.
Recommended listening & viewing: Session 1
Earl’s influences “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down,” by Charlie Poole and his North Carolina Ramblers, 1925
“The Man Who Wrote Home Sweet Home Never Was A Married Man,” Parker and Woolbright
VIDEO: Snuffy Jenkins demonstrates clawhammer, two-finger and three-finger picking in this video with Pappy Sherrill. Includes a fragment of “Cumberland Gap.”
“Sally Ann/ Sally Goodin’ (medley),” Snuffy Jenkins from “American Banjo: Three-Finger and Scruggs Style,” [Smithsonian Folkways]
Earl with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys 1946-47 Live Grand Ole Opry recordings with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys. Newly discovered 12-minute audio, from at least two different performances, includes “Ain’t Nobody Gonna Miss Me” and “Cripple Creek.” Great audio quality in comparison to many of the live cuts currently available.
“Will You Be Loving Another Man” with Bill Monroe, recorded September 17, 1946:
“Blue Grass Breakdown” with Bill Monroe, recorded October 27, 1947:
“Molly and Tenbrooks (The Race Horse Song),” with Bill Monroe, recorded October 28, 1947:
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