peermusic Renews Long-Term Publishing Deal For Earl Scruggs Catalog

Earl Scruggs

peermusic has renewed its long-term global publishing deal for the catalog of bluegrass legend Earl Scruggs. During his life, Scruggs was a collaborator with and close friend to many at peermusic, including peermusic founder Ralph Peer. Scruggs died in 2012.

“It’s hard to think of a more perfect model for the relationship between a songwriter and a publisher than Earl Scruggs and peermusic,” said Kathy Spanberger, President and COO-peermusic Anglo American Region. “Earl and peermusic worked together successfully for decades to share his music with the world, and I’m so glad that his sons, Gary, Randy and peermusic have the opportunity to extend this partnership.”

“Our father left an incredible legacy with his music, and our family wants to do everything we can to preserve that legacy so that his songs can be enjoyed by generations to come,” said Randy and Gary Scruggs in a joint statement. “peermusic is the publisher he trusted for many years—they’ve been friends to our family throughout the years and they know his catalog as well as anybody, so keeping our dad’s catalog with peermusic was an easy decision.”

Scruggs, a gifted songwriter and five-string banjo player, revolutionized the bluegrass genre with a three-fingered picking style that has since become a hallmark of bluegrass banjo. He began his career in 1945, when he joined Bill Monroe’s band and met Lester Flatt. The two were mainstays of Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys for a little over two years before striking out on their own.

Performing as Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys, the band eventually began playing major folk festivals as well as some of the nation’s biggest stages, including Carnegie Hall and the Newport Folk Festival. Among their signature recordings are “Earl’s Breakdown,” “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” (the iconic opening and closing theme for The Beverly Hillbillies) and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” (a song Scruggs wrote and recorded in 1949, which was featured prominently in the 1967 film Bonnie And Clyde).

In 1969 Scruggs began pursuing a solo career by enlisting his sons Gary and Randy to perform with him as the Earl Scruggs Revue. The group found success recording for Columbia Records throughout the 1970s. Scruggs is a member of both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of four Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and a National Medal of Arts.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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