Earl Scruggs is probably the most famous 5-string banjo player to ever live. Of course, these days, banjo players are not exactly the most popular of musicians.

Earl Scruggs invented (or at least popularized) the three finger picking style used in bluegrass music. Prior to that, most banjo players used a style called "frailing" in which the strings are typically strummed rather than picked individually, and the typical banjo usually had 4 strings rather than 5.

Earl Scruggs is also the author of the book (and accompanying cassette tape) "Earl Scruggs and the 5-string Banjo". The tape is pretty funny, though not intentionally. Earl insists on calling fingers "fangers", and keeps warning you about how your "fangers will cramp up".

Earl wrote what is probably the second most famous banjo tune ever, Foggy Mountain Breakdown, featured in the Bonnie and Clyde movie. He also wrote and performed the theme for The Beverly Hillbillies TV show, and appeared as a guest star on the show a number of times, along with Lester Flatt. (The most famous banjo tune, is of course, Dueling Banjos featured in the film Deliverance and which, strangely, features a duel between a banjo and a guitar, rather than one between two banjos).

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