06:58 PM EDT 10/21/2013

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Earl Scruggs

Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty
Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs Dies

Earl Scruggs, Beverly Hillbillies Bluegrass Legend, Dies

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."

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