Thursday, March 02, 2006

Girl Friday #4: Geez, Louise (Will Be Missed)

One of the reasons I initiated Girl Friday was that I was aware that some of the most important women in bluegrass are people we might never meet. Behind the biggest bands and the most important festivals is an intricate network of wives, business partners, mothers, sisters, and daughters, well known and relied upon by practitioners, but somewhat invisible to the rest of us.

Louise Scruggs was such a woman. If it weren’t for Louise and her tireless commitment to bringing her skill and talent to bear in support of a banjo player she first saw while attending the Opry as a young lady, the world might never have come to love singin' The Ballad of Jed Clampett. Louise Scruggs, who died last month, was Mrs. Earl Scruggs.

Rather than try and sum up here what she meant to bluegrass, I invite you to click on the link below and read Murphy Henry’s account. Murphy, who created one of the most relied upon and best loved self-teaching methods in bluegrass, is another amazing woman I’ve had the good fortune to meet during my short time involved with bluegrass. She took time out from working on her upcoming book on women in bluegrass to share memories of Louise on The Bluegrass Blog.

Louise and Earl had the kind of partnership in life, music, and business that I can only dream about. But it can't have been easy, especially with Earl being on the road so much. I imagine that a life with a touring recording artist may be a bit like being married to a firefighter -- you see them in shifts and never really know if they'll come home alive.

I’m glad folks appear to be enjoying Girl Friday. If you have a favorite female bluegrass or traditional music figure – be she a performer, producer, presenter, educator, or tireless fan -- let me know and we’ll profile her here!

Photos for this Girl Friday post from the February 9 edition of the Nashville Scene.


At March 03, 2006 9:55 AM, Anonymous Cassandra said...

Great post! I couldn't the life they must have had together. I wonder if I would have the strength that she did.
That's a great picture - the one where they are kissing in front of the bus.
So I've added this post to the FWJ today! Hope you don't mind!

At March 03, 2006 11:46 AM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Hi, Cassandra!

Not at all! Can't wait to see what turned up on FWJ!

At March 04, 2006 1:59 AM, Blogger Darkneuro said...

Beautiful post, MM. I'm learning :)


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