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Foggy Mountain Boys
Genres Bluegrass
Years active 1952-1970
Former members
Lester Flatt
Earl Scruggs

The Foggy Mountain Boys was an influential bluegrass band that performed and recorded during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s.

Contents

Biography

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs met as members of Bill Monroe's band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1946. The two left that band early in 1948, and within a few months had formed their own group, the Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs' banjo style and Flatt's rhythm guitar style as well as his vocals gave them a distinctive sound that won them many fans. In 1955 they became members of the Grand Ole Opry. Many of the songs on their albums are credited to "Certain and Stacey". These songs were in fact written by Flatt, Scruggs, and various other members of the Foggy Mountain Boys. Certain and Stacey are the maiden names of the wives of Flatt and Scruggs (Louise Certain, wife of Earl Scruggs, and Gladys Stacey, wife of Lester Flatt).

Scruggs, who had always shown progressive tendencies, experimented on duets with saxophonist King Curtis and added songs by the likes of Bob Dylan to the group's repertoire. Flatt, a traditionalist, did not like these changes, and the group broke up in 1969. Following the breakup, Lester Flatt founded the Nashville Grass and Scruggs lead the Earl Scruggs Revue. Flatt died in 1979 at the age of 64. Scruggs still performs occasionally, as his health permits. Flatt and Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

In 2003, they ranked #24 on CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music, one of only four non-solo artists to make the list (Eagles, Alabama, and Brooks & Dunn are the others).

In the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the band formed by the heroes is called the "Soggy Bottom Boys" as a tribute to the band.

Members

Notable songs

Discography

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Albums

Year Album Chart Positions Label
US Country US
1957 Foggy Mountain Jamboree Columbia
1958 Country Music Mercury
1959 Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs
1960 Songs of Glory Columbia
1961 Foggy Mountain Banjo
Songs of the Famous Carter Family
1962 Folk Songs of Our Land
1963 Hard Travelin' (The Ballad of Jed Clampett) 115
The Original Sound Mercury
Flatt and Scruggs at Carnegie Hall 7 134 Columbia
1964 Recorded Live at Vanderbilt University 10
The Fabulous Sound of Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs 2
1965 The Versatile Flatt & Scruggs
Great Original Recordings
1966 Town and Country 15
When the Saints Go Marching In
Flatt & Scruggs' Greatest Hits 34
Sacred Songs
1967 Strictly Instrumental (w/ Doc Watson)
Hear the Whistles Blow 37
1968 Changin' Times featuring Foggy Mountain Breakdown 7
Songs of Cherish
Original Theme From Bonnie & Clyde 26
The Story of Bonnie & Clyde 23 187
Nashville Airplane 35
1970 Final Fling 45
Breaking Out 35

Singles

Year Single Chart Positions Album
US Country US
1952 "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered" 9 singles only
1959 "Cabin in the Hills" 9
1960 "Crying My Heart Out Over You" 21
1961 "Polka on a Banjo" 12
"Go Home" 10
1962 "Just Ain't" 16
"The Legend of the Johnson Boys" 27 Folk Songs of Our Land
1963 "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" 1 44 Hard Travelin' (The Ballad of Jed Clampett)
"Pearl Pearl Pearl" 8 113 singles only
"New York Town" 26
1964 "You Are My Flower" 12 Recorded Live at Vanderbilt University
"My Sara Jane" 40 singles only
"Petticoat Junction" 14
"Workin' It Out" 21
1965 "I Still Miss Someone" 43 The Versatile Flatt & Scruggs
1967 "Nashville Cats" 54 singles only
"California Up Tight Band" 20
1968 "Down in the Flood" 45 Changing Times featuring
Foggy Mountain Breakdown
"Foggy Mountain Breakdown"A 58 55
"Like a Rolling Stone" 58 125 Nashville Airplane
  • A"Foggy Mountain Breakdown" also peaked at #90 on the RPM Top Singles chart in Canada.

References

  • Rosenburg, Neil V. (1998). "Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 173-4.

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