Recorded in 1949, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" changed the face of American music. Earl Scruggs's instrumental essentially transformed
the folk culture that came before it while helping to energize bluegrass's entry into the mainstream in the 1960s. The song
has become a gateway to bluegrass for musicians and fans alike as well as a happily inescapable track in film and television.
Thomas Goldsmith explores the origins and influence of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" against the backdrop of Scruggs's legendary
career. Interviews with Scruggs, his wife Louise, disciple Bela Fleck, and sidemen like Curly Seckler, Mac Wiseman, and Jerry
Douglas shed light on topics like Scruggs's musical evolution and his working relationship with Bill Monroe. As Goldsmith
shows, the captivating sound of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" helped bring back the banjo from obscurity and distinguished the
low-key Scruggs as a principal figure in American acoustic music.Passionate and long overdue, Earl Scruggs and Foggy Mountain
Breakdown takes readers on an ear-opening journey into two minutes and forty-three seconds of heaven.