10:51 AM EDT 03/19/2015
Originally posted 03/29/2012 11:30AM
Earl Scruggs, the banjo playing, singing and composing great whose twanging bluegrass themes for TV's The Beverly Hillbillies and the Bonnie and Clyde movie achieved Top of the Chart status in the '60s, died Wednesday of natural causes at a Nashville hospital, his son Gary Scruggs told CNN. He was 88.
"It's not just bluegrass, it's American music," bluegrass fan-turned-country star Dierks Bentley told the Associated Press about Scruggs's output.
"There's 17- or 18-year-old kids turning on today's country music and hearing that banjo and they have no idea where that came from. That sound has probably always been there for them and they don't realize someone invented that three-finger roll style of playing. You hear it everywhere."
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Minnesota Dentist Says He Regrets Killing Beloved Zimbabwe Lion Cecil
Woman Killed by Escalator Accident in Chinese Shopping Mall, Saves Son in Final Moments
Meet the First Kid in the World to Receive a Double Hand Transplant: 'I Want to Swing on Monkey Bars!'
Luke Bryan Says He and His Wife Feel 'Honored' to Raise His Late Sister's Children
Utah Teen Discovers He's Allergic to Food: 'I Remember What it Tastes Like, That Will Have to Be Enough'
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!