The First Generation.

In today’s readings there was a focus on the pioneers of the genre. These videos should help place images alongside the names:

The Monroe Brothers:

Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and Bill Monroe (listen for the opening “g run”)

Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs:

Why did Scruggs and Flatt end their time together?

The Earl Scruggs Review:

The Stanley Brothers:

They also featured the “third Stanley brother” George Shuffler from Valdese, NC.

Ralph Stanley featuring Keith Whitley (after the passing of Carter Stanley) :

Ralph Stanley on discovering Whitley and Skaggs:

Jimmy Martin performed with Monroe for four years and became a prominent figure in the genre. His personality, performance, and “ownership” of the songs he plays truly sets him apart. The “King of Bluegrass (parts 1, 2, 3) are all on youtube and offer a personal glimpse into Martin’s life. The video below features banjo player J.D. Crowe we read about:

Listen close to Crowe on the banjo– do you hear a difference from Scruggs? How is this performance in general different from the other first generation performers we have heard?

enjoy and please send questions to

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