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Passings: Randy Scruggs (1953 - 2018)

by VVN Music

Multi-talented producer, songwriter and guitarist Randy Scruggs has died after a brief illness at the age of 64.

Randy was a child of true music royalty.  His father, Earl Scruggs, is one of the most popular musicians in the history of bluegrass music. His mother, Louise Scruggs, was a pioneering businesswoman in Nashville becoming the first female booking agent when she started working with her husband. Both of his brothers, Gary Scruggs and the late-Steve Scruggs, were also musicians.

Born in 1953, Randy made his first appearance on the syndicated Flatt & Scruggs TV show at the age of nine and was recording by 13. He joined forces with his brother, Gary, to record two country-rock albums for Vanguard in 1969 and 1970 before becoming a member of the Earl Scruggs Review who recorded a number of albums during the 70's.

Scruggs also appeared as a guest and studio artist on other's albums including John Hartford's Aero-plane, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken (he would produce subsequent volumes), Waylon Jenning's Dreaming My Dreams, Jessi Colter's Jessi and Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge's Full Moon.

As a songwriter, Scruggs penned numerous country hits including three of Earl Thomas Conley's four number 1's from his album Don't Make It Easy For Me. Scrugg's top twenty country hits as a songwriter:
  • Your Love's on the Line - Earl Thomas Conley (1983 / #1 country)
  • Angel in Disguise - Earl Thomas Conley (1984 / #1 country)
  • Chance of Lovin' You - Earl Thomas Conley (1984 / #1 country)
  • Don't Make It Easy For Me - Earl Thomas Conley (1984 / #1 country)
  • Love Don't Care Whose Heart it Breaks - Earl Thomas Conley (1985 / #1 country)
  • Shakin' - Sawyer Brown (1986 / #15 country)
  • Out Goin' Cattin' - Sawyer Brown (1986 / #11 country)
  • Love Has No Right - Billy Joe Royal (1989 / #4 country)
  • We Danced Anyway - Deana Carter (1997 / #72 pop / #1 country)
  • There's No Limit - Deana Carter (2002 / #14 country)
In 1998, Randy released his loan solo album, Crown of Jewels, which included appearances by a host of artists from John Prine to Joan Osborne. 

Scruggs was the CMA's Musician of the Year three times (1999, 2003, 2006) and won Album of the Year as producer of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. 2 and Single of the Year for Alison Krauss and Union Station's When You Say Nothing at All.

He was also a four-time Grammy winner for Country Instrumental Performance:
  • Amazing Grace (1990)
  • A Soldier's Joy (with Vince Gill) (1999)
  • Foggy Mountain Breakdown (with Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Gary Scruggs, Glen Duncan, Vince Gill, Jerry Douglas, Marty Stuart, Albert Lee, Steve Martin, Leon Russell and Paul Shaffer) (2001)
  • Earl's Breakdown (with the (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band featuring Earl Scruggs, Randy Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Jerry Douglas) (2005)
Randy is survived by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Lindsey.