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Google Doodle Honors Banjo Player Earl Scruggs

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Google honored banjo-picking bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs with its Google Doodle on Friday.

Scruggs, who pioneered a musical style known as the “Scruggs style” which became integral to bluegrass, died in 2012 at age 88. The animated Doodle shows off Scruggs’ fingerpicking playing style.

Google’s Doodle was timed to celebrate the anniversary of the 2014 opening of the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, N.C. The Scruggs Center is dedicated to celebrating Scuggs’ life and helping to educate people about the North Carolina musical traditions that gave rise to Scruggs’ talent.

Scruggs’ son, Gary, told Google: “Even though my father, Earl Scruggs, passed away before the Earl Scruggs Center opened, he was involved in its planning stages. It was important for him that the Earl Scruggs Center would serve as more than a museum displaying interesting artifacts and memorabilia, but as an educational facility as well.”

“I very much admired the fact that my Dad was not only a world-class musician, but was also willing and eager to teach his musical skills to anyone asking his advice.”

Scruggs was born in North Carolina in 1924, where he grew up playing the banjo. His musical career would span some six decades, winning him four Grammy awards and a star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

Write to Billy Perrigo at billy.perrigo@time.com.


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