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Country Music Hall of Fame Member and Bluegrass Pioneer Earl Scruggs Dies

Image courtesy of EarlScruggs.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of EarlScruggs.com (via ABC News Radio)

Country Music Hall of Fame member   Earl Scruggs , best known as one-half of the seminal bluegrass duo   Flatt & Scruggs  died Wednesday morning in Nashville. He was 88.

Scruggs pioneered the style of banjo picking that has come to define bluegrass music. It could be heard on Flatt & Scruggs #1 country single, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett," which was the theme to the sitcom   The Beverly Hillbillies.

Scruggs  joined   Bill Monroe 's Blue Grass Boys on the Grand Ole Opry in the mid-1940s, where he met his duo partner   Lester Flatt.   They toured internationally and made inroads into the world of folk music in the '60s. Their version of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" could be heard in the 1967 Warren Beatty film   Bonnie & Clyde .

Artistic and business differences led Flatt & Scruggs to break up in 1969. Lester Flatt died in 1979, and the duo was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

A funeral service will be held this Saturday afternoon at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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