“Rather than speak out about the connections between folk and country in the war-torn, politically contentious ‘60s, he simply showed up at folk festivals and played, at least when he and Flatt weren’t at the Grand Ole Opry. During the long-hair/ short-hair skirmishes of the ‘60s and ‘70s, he simply showed up and played, with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and The Byrds. And when staunch fans of bluegrass – a genre that would not exist in a recognizable form without Mr. Scruggs’ banjo – railed against stylistic experimentation, Mr. Scruggs happily jammed away with sax player King Curtis, sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, piano man Elton John and anyone else whose music he fancied. ‘He was the man who melted walls, and he did it without saying three words,’ said his friend and acolyte, Marty Stuart in 2000.”
—The astounding Earl Scruggs has died at the age of 88.