Randy Scruggs, a Grammy-winning musician, songwriter and producer, and the son of banjo innovator Earl Scruggs, died Tuesday night after a short illness. He was 64.
He began making music professionally when he was just 13, and worked with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Lisa Loeb. Over the course of his career, he played on two of country music's landmark albums, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken and John Hartford's Aereo-Plain, produced the Dirt Band's subsequent two Circle volumes and co-wrote hits like We Danced Anyway and Angel in Disguise
Randy Lynn Scruggs was the second of three sons born in Nashville to Earl and Louise Scruggs on Aug. 4, 1953. He grew up surrounded by music; greats like Maybelle Carter and Johnny Cash would stop by the house. Carter's autoharp fascinated six-year-old Randy.
"It had to have been incredibly hard to grow up as the son of Earl Scruggs," said WSM DJ and Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs. "But Randy in his own way carved a very successful path out for himself in a multifaceted career. I know that his parents were both very proud of him and his brothers Gary and Steve. If you were to get into Earl Scruggs’ car and see what he had musically at his fingertips, it was generally a CD by the original Carter Family, something by Uncle Dave Macon and the latest project that Randy was involved in."