I was in the WBT radio studios, photographing their 90th anniversary party, when I heard that Earl Scruggs had passed away. I thought of all the times that Earl had passed through WBT, WPAQ and all of the great radio stations throughout the Carolinas. Earl changed the way people thought about American music. He defined bluegrass in its original form, and influenced everyone that came after him. I was lucky to photograph him a few times, including at the 2005 Blue Grass Boys reunion at Merlefest. Paddy Maloney introduced him at Merlefest the following year, and its the only time I've ever seen Paddy visibly excited and nervous, to be playing with his idol. Earl may be gone from our eyes, but the brightness from his comet still lights the way.
March 28, 2012