Funeral Set For Bluegrass Legend Earl Scruggs

The funeral for legendary bluegrass banjo artist Earl Scruggs, who is from Cleveland County west of Charlotte, will be Sunday in Nashville.

Scruggs was 88 when he died of natural causes Wednesday morning.

An obituary posted by the Spring Hill Funeral Home states the funeral will be conducted at Ryman Auditorium, from where the Grand Ole Opry was broadcast for many years. The service will begin at 2 p.m.

The family has asked donations go to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Nashville or the Earl Scruggs center in Shelby, North Carolina.

Bluegrass legend and banjo pioneer Earl Scruggs, who helped profoundly change country music with Bill Monroe and later with guitarist Lester Flatt, has died. He was 88.

Scruggs' son Gary said his father passed away Wednesday morning at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital. Gary Scruggs said his father died of natural causes.

The elder Scruggs was an innovator who pioneered modern banjo sound. His use of three fingers rather than the clawhammer style elevated the banjo from a part of the rhythm section -- or a comedian's prop -- to a lead instrument.

His string-bending and lead runs became known worldwide as "the Scruggs picking style." It was perhaps most prominently displayed on the iconic theme from "The Beverly Hillbillies."

Gary Scruggs says funeral plans are incomplete.

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