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The Family of Earl Scruggs Donates His Iconic Gibson Banjo To The Country Music Hall of Fame

Sierra Ferrell (C) performs on stage with Earls of Leicester during the celebration of the donation of Earl Scruggs's Gibson RB-Granada Mastertone Banjo to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's permanent collection on May 22, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum)
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NASHVILLE, TN On Monday, the Country Music Hall of Fame welcomed the donation of the Gibson RB-Granada Mastertone banjo that was played by pioneering bluegrass musician and Country Music Hall of Famer, Earl Scruggs.

Scruggs used the instrument throughout much of his 6-decade career, including during concerts and on television sound stages, as well as in the recording studio where it can be heard in tracks such as “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” by Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs & the Foggy Mountain Boys.

The donation was commemorated with a ceremony that included a constellation of guests who paid tribute to the late bluegrass icon.

Guests on hand to perform included:

The Earls of Leicester, with “Salty Dog Blues” and “Rollin’ In My Sweet Babies Arms”
Sierra Ferrell, with “Before I Met You”
Alison Brown performed “Earl’s Breakdown” on Scruggs’s donated Gibson banjo.

Vince Gill, Country Music Hall of Fame member and president of the museum’s board, opened the ceremony and thanked the Scruggs family for the gift.

“It’s so valuable to the history of music, and the history of Earl and his family,” Gill said.

Museum CEO Kyle Young was also on hand to share stories from Scrugg’s storied career and the instrument’s impact on modern music.

“These artifacts are unique historical treasures,” said Young. “They connect us to the lives of creative geniuses who forged the enduring sounds of our music. Today, we are grateful and elated to celebrate the donation of another such treasure ­– Earl’s Gibson RB-Granada Mastertone banjo ­– an instrument made iconic by the creative power of the master musician who wielded it.”

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