Pete Wernick remembers Louise Scruggs

Pete Wernick, aka Dr. Banjo, sent us a copy of a moving tribute he wrote to commemorate the passing of Louise Scruggs. Pete was headed to Nashville for the funeral when he sent this along, and we wanted to quote briefly from his piece, and also suggest you visit Pete’s site to read the entire thing.

Like so many folks who have taken the occasion of Mrs. Scruggs’ passing to comment on her status in the music business, Pete has also taken pains to make reference to her generosity and kindness of spirit – traits often unseen to those outside the Scruggs’ circle of family and friends, and perhaps in stark contrast with the widely-held persona of a tough-as-nails businesswoman.

“My last conversation with Louise was on Jan. 6, Earl’s birthday. I have called Earl on his birthday for many years. This year, that day saw them sharing a room at a rehab facility, where he was recuperating from the fall he took in late November. The only way to call in was Louise’s cell phone. I was in Colorado putting together a performance with 12 banjo players at my Advanced Banjo Camp. I called Louise on the cell, and she answered, in a clear voice. Earl was not able to get to the phone, so the two of us talked. I put her on the speaker phone for the campers to hear. She sounded downright lively, asked about the camp, and gave her greetings to the group, and extended Earl’s. She said the one thing she regretted was that she couldn’t “jump right out of bed” and throw Earl a party, as she was used to doing. There, in the last month of her life, suffering from multiple ailments, her greatest joy remained honoring her man.”

Pete’s entire commentary is worthy of your attention if you are a fan of Earl Scruggs, or simply interested in the people who helped make this music possible.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.