Box of Rain

Lester Flatt& Earl Scruggs : In Progress.

I hope for this to be a long term project. I am still seeking vinyl rips of all the many releases of these influential artists. Within this post there will be releases of The Foggy Mountain boys as well as solo projects, studio and live, traditional bluegrass and old time songs along with covers you might not expect, ( yes that’s Lester singing Rainy Day Women 12 and 35)

If you have anything to add to this post let me know please.

Lester Raymond Flatt (June 19, 1914 – May 11, 1979) was an American bluegrass guitarist and mandolinist, best known for his collaboration with banjo picker Earl Scruggs in The Foggy Mountain Boys (popularly known as “Flatt and Scruggs”).

Earl Eugene Scruggs (January 6, 1924 – March 28, 2012) was an American musician noted for popularizing a three-finger banjo picking style, now called “Scruggs style”, which is a defining characteristic of bluegrass music. His three-finger style of playing was radically different from the traditional way the five-string banjo had previously been played. This new style of playing became popular and elevated the banjo from its previous role as a background rhythm instrument to featured solo status. He popularized the instrument across several genres of music.

Flatt & Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys was an American bluegrass band. The band was founded by guitarist Lester Flatt and banjo player Earl Scruggs and is viewed by music historians as one of the premier bluegrass groups in the history of the genre.[1] The band was originally formed in 1948 by Flatt, who had been a member of Bill Monroe’s bluegrass band. Flatt brought Scruggs with him shortly after leaving Monroe.

Flatt and Scruggs and The Foggy Mountain Boys (in various forms and line-ups) recorded and performed together until 1969.The Foggy Mountain Boys are seen as one of the landmark bands in bluegrass music. Although it featured various casts, during the years of The Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs Grand Ole Opry Show, notably sponsored by grain and flour producer Martha White, the band showcased fiddle player Paul Warren, a master player in both the old-time and bluegrass fiddling styles, whose technique reflected all qualitative aspects of ‘the bluegrass breakdown’ and fast bowing style; dobro player Uncle Josh Graves, an innovator of the advanced playing style of the instrument now used in the genre, stand-up bass player Cousin Jake Tullock, and mandolinist Curly Seckler.

Biography

Lester Flatt worked for Monroe at the time Earl Scruggs was considered for Bill Monroe’s band, the Blue Grass Boys, in 1945. The two left that band early in 1948, and within a few months had formed the Foggy Mountain Boys. Flatt’s rhythm guitar style and vocals and Scruggs’ banjo style gave them a distinctive sound that won them many fans. In 1955, they became members of the Grand Ole Opry.[ Many of the songs on their albums are credited to “Certain and Stacey”. These songs were in fact written by Flatt, Scruggs, and various other members of the Foggy Mountain Boys. Certain and Stacey are the maiden names of the wives of Flatt and Scruggs (Louise Certain, wife of Earl Scruggs, and Gladys Stacey, wife of Lester Flatt).

Scruggs, who had always shown progressive tendencies, experimented on duets with saxophonist King Curtis and added songs by the likes of Bob Dylan to the group’s repertoire. Flatt, a traditionalist, did not like these changes, and the group broke up in 1969. Following the breakup, Lester Flatt founded the Nashville Grass and Scruggs led the Earl Scruggs Revue. Flatt died in 1979, at the age of 64. Flatt and Scruggs were elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

Box Sets

Flatt and Scruggs 1948-1959

The first of four box sets documenting the complete recordings of Flatt & Scruggs as a working band, this one detailing the group’s first 11 years is generally considered the most essential. These 113 tracks represent the duo’s complete Mercury recordings on disc one and the beginning of their Columbia sides on discs two through four. There is one completely unissued cut, and the entire package has been remastered and contains copious liner notes. Contained here are the 1949 recordings of their classic “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and 1950’s “Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms,” and also mid-’50s stompers such as “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke,” “Flint Hill Special,” and “You’re Not a Drop in the Bucket”; gospel tunes such as “Give My Mother My Crown,” “A Million Years in Glory,” “Jesus Savior Pilot Me”; and hot singles such as “Cabin on the Hill,” “Foggy Mountain Rock,” and “Crying My Heart Out Over You.” Beginning with the Bill Monroe band where Flatt’s voice first countered Monroe’s high lonesome, Flatt & Scruggs made that low, clear bell of a sound into a trademark — as they did with Scruggs’ unique banjo styles. While the music on later collections is fine and rousing, this is truly exciting with all the hope and trepidation of discovery and walking the high wire in search of something original. These four CDs are essential for every serious fan of bluegrass music.

Information and Tracklist

Hey, play Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Flatt and Scruggs 1959-1963

AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

While the first Flatt & Scruggs box on Bear Family documented the band’s development over its first 11 years — 1948-1959 — this set captures the band at the height of its meteoric rise to fame into the stuff of legend. First and foremost, Flatt & Scruggs eclipsed the fame of their mentor, Bill Monroe by having six charting singles in Billboard between the mid-’50s and 1960. They also got reviewed in Playboy and Downbeat magazines and began to play the Newport Folk Festival and appear on stages with Joan Baez, Cisco Houston, the Kingston Trio, New Christy Minstrels, Woody Guthrie, John Jacob Niles, and many others. Things began to heat up for Flatt & Scruggs in 1963, when they debuted the “Theme of Jed Clampett” for the new television comedy series The Beverly Hillbillies. This box contains six complete LPs recorded during those years, the complete edition of their concert at Carnegie Hall, and an album of square dancing fiddle tunes for which guitarist Merle Travis and fiddler Gordon Terry were added to the band. Over five CDs and 139 selections, the Flatt & Scruggs trek to superstardom is well documented. Their names became household for appearances on everything from the Ed Sullivan show to The Price Is Right. But most importantly, what Flatt & Scruggs accomplished during this period was extraordinary: They not only brought the American public at large to traditional country and bluegrass music from the Southern mountains; they also pushed the envelope on the bluegrass to places it literally would never have gone. Take a listen to their version of Doc Watson’s “I’m Troubled” from 1963, recorded just four days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the use of Buddy Harman’s drums on Guthrie’s “Hard Travelin” and “This Land Is Your Land,” or Maybelle Carter’s lead guitar on an entire program of Carter Family classics recorded in 1961. This is the sound of history in the making, of mountain music coming down from the mountain as the rest of the country opens to it in all of its raw, heartfelt glory. This is breathtaking material and is the most mainstream of the three sets devoted to Flatt & Scruggs — there is one devoted to Lester’s music after the band’s demise — and it is the most exciting. (This must be the 4th set which I don’t have.. anyone? – Aikoolf)

Information and Tracklist

Mama Don’t Allow

1964-1969 Plus

AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek

The final five years of the team of Flatt & Scruggs is documented on the six-CD Bear Family set 1964-1969, Plus. Their final six recordings together are on a Lester Flatt box set on the same label (Flatt on Victor Plus More, Bear Family 15975). Though the pair never referred to themselves as bluegrass musicians — because of its association with their mentor, Bill Monroe — they had a difficult time telling the ever-increasing flood of international fans just what it was they did. Certainly it was folk music, but not the folk music of the folk revival of the late ’50s and early ’60s, and it was country music, though not what Owen Bradley and Chet Atkins was pushing through Nashville at the time, and while a lot of the music was rooted in blues and gospel, it couldn’t be called that either. Flatt & Scruggs were the progenitors of what later pioneers like Tony Trischka, Randy Scruggs, Béla Fleck, and others would call “newgrass” — the pair wouldn’t have liked that either. What this set documents is how the musical styles emerging in the 1960s were explored by Flatt & Scruggs, were turned inside out, were popularized, and put enough pressure on the duo, musically and professionally because of increased fame, to tear them apart. Here are the recordings of Waylon Jennings’ “I’m a Man of Constant Sorrow” (before Ralph Stanley cut it), Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe,” Tom Paxton’s “The Last Thing on My Mind,” Chuck Berry’s “Memphis,” “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” done for the film Bonnie & Clyde, traditional songs like “Sally Goodin,” Mel Tillis and Danny Dill’s “Detroit City,” Tom T. Hall’s “I’m Gonna Ride That Steamboat,” John Sebastian’s “Nashville Cats,” Doc and Merle Watson’s “Southbound,” and Flatt & Scruggs’ amazing instrumental “Jazzing.” But before the reader looks away in disgust, muttering “sellout,” perhaps the music itself should be taken as an example of its own merit. Flatt & Scruggs stood outside of tradition from the beginning by breaking with standard vocal and instrumentation regimens. Using four-part harmonies, drums, and harmonica on a Dylan song, the duo were merely doing what they had done throughout their careers — they explored the roots of a song and discovered where it took them. Recording Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” Donovan’s “Catch the Wind,” Dylan’s “Wanted Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone,” the Hall songs for the Bonnie & Clyde soundtrack, and Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” were high-wire acts, cliff edges both men were looking over into an abyss that refused to stare back at them, and finally it separated them. But it was never for lack of an adventurous spirit of laziness or lack of respect. What is documented here may be the sound of disintegration, but it is also the sound of courage and preservation that brought the heart and soul of country music to popular music, not the other way around.

Information and Tracklist

Once Upon A Time

NEW! October 5, 2020!

The Story Of Bonnie And Clyde (1968) [24-96 qobuz](2018)

Tracklist :
01. The Story Of Bonnie And Clyde (2:52)
02. Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Featured in the Motion Picture “Bonnie And Clyde”) (2:06)
03. Another Ride With Clyde (2:05)
04. Reunion (1:58)
05. A Picture Of Bonnie (2:55)
06. Get-Away (1:50)
07. The Barrow Gang Will Get You Little Man (2:27)
08. The Chase (1:55) )
09. See Bonnie Die, See Clyde Die (See Bonnie And Clyde Die) (2:56)
10. Highway’s End (1:45)
11. Bang, You’re Alive (2:29)

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow

New! October 5, 2020

Foggy Mountain Banjo 1961 [16.1-44]

CD: Flatt & Scruggs – Foggy Mountain Banjo
Publisher: County Records

CD: Flatt & Scruggs – Foggy Mountain Banjo
Language: English
Publisher: County Records

  1. Ground Speed [0:02:12.22]
  2. Home Sweet Home [0:02:13.36]
  3. Sally Ann [0:02:09.04]
  4. Little Darlin’, Pal Of Mine [0:01:55.00]
  5. Reuben [0:02:00.24]
  6. Cripple Creek [0:02:06.04]
  7. Lonsesome Road Blues [0:02:01.44]
  8. John Henry [0:02:05.54]
  9. Fireball Mail [0:01:52.16]
  10. Sally Goodwin [0:02:11.37]
  11. Bugle Call Rag [0:02:28.58]
  12. Cumberland Gap [0:01:56.28]

Foggy Mountain Banjo

NEW! October 5, 2020

When The Saints Go Marching in 1966 [24-192] 2016

Tracklist :
01. Troublesome Waters (2:55)
02. God Gave Noah The Rainbow Sign (2:11)
03. No Mother In This World (2:35)
04. A Stone The Builders Refused (1:54)
05. Call Me On Home, Too (2:04)
06. When The Saints Go Marching In (2:12)
07. Wait For The Sunshine (1:59)
08. The Cabin On The Hill (2:32)
09. Thank God I’m On My Way (2:14)
10. I Saw Mother With God Last Night (2:44)
11. Who Will Sing For Me (2:30)

I Want To Be In That Number

Earl Scruggs Solo

Nashville’s Rock

Little information online about this solo effort from Earl, let’s just say it’s rather progressive.

Information and Tracklist

Gimme,Gimme, Gimme The Honky Tonk Blues

Earl Scruggs and Friends 2001

CD [16-44.1]

AllMusic Review by Maria Konicki Dinoia

Earl Scruggs practically invented the word banjo, and perhaps because of that he can count some of the most elite musicians among his “friends”: Elton John, Sting, Melissa Etheridge, Don Henley, Johnny Cash, John Fogerty, and the list goes on. In a career that spans 50 years, Scruggs’ five-string banjo stylings have helped to define American music. Here, on this 12-track compilation produced by son Randy, those banjo stylings can be heard in the same folk-based music he’s known for, and also combined with a fresh and unequaled range of material that comes with having so many varied and dissimilar artists involved. Every song has a unique story to tell, but is always brandished with that distinctive Scruggs polish.

Information and Tracklist

A Wild And Crazy Guy

II’ve waited way too long to buy this and share it…

Lester Flatt, Bill Monroe and Marty Stuart 1974. Do I really need to say more?

https://app.box.com/s/nz547aukvcmcih7gvp2s9em324ozlyq0

10 thoughts on “Lester Flatt& Earl Scruggs : In Progress.

  1. Ike

    Thanks for all the Flatt & Scruggs. Forever regretful that I didn’t get into going to bluegrass festivals earlier than I did. These wonderful recordings are the next best thing for sure! Thank you!

    1. Robert Nesta Marley

      Hey great post!! Appreciate the fine picker’s who really defined the bluegrass genre before it morphed into jamgrass, newgrass, slamgrass (thank you Leftover Salmon!) and all the beautiful things that could only be fully dreamed up by the New Grass Revival boys (Sam Bush, etc.) long before it’s eventual time….

  2. aikowolf Post author

    Foggy Mountain Banjo and the Story of Bonnie and Clyde and When The Saint Go Marching In, all HIGH REZ added above, look for bold NEW!

    more later today before I bump it

    Bumped

  3. Camphor

    Thanks Aiko, very kind of you to share your stuff! The download shortcut works like a charm.

    I have a kind of technical question. I assume that we are all downloading from your mega file source and not concurrently re-seeding through BOR. If we get a re-seed request later, I assume that we can make a .torrent file from the unzipped files and post it at BOR. Is that right?

    1. aikowolf Post author

      You’re very welcome Camphor.
      I have 400gb storage plan at mega I plan on keeping indefinitely. Hopefully that means reseeds would not be necessary, however of course shit happens and if the links die we can cross that bridge when we come to it.

  4. Robert Nesta Marley

    Thank you so much!! LUV me some Flatt n Scruggs!!!
    FYI – i dont think the 59-63 link is working as i keep getting a “duplicate” link from the 1st part of the set??
    Likely my own user error LOL
    Thx Aikowolf!!

  5. aikowolf Post author

    There will be a lot more to come on this one. I’ll bump it from time to time when as I add more.

    If anyone has any vinyl rips to add let me know. There’s plenty there I’m missing.

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