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THE THREE PICKERS: LEGENDS OF AMERICAN MUSIC premiered on July 28, 2003 on PBS (check local listings).

The immensely popular soundtrack to the Coen brothers' movie hit O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? demonstrated the widespread appeal of what folk music aficionados have treasured for years -- the uniquely American music called bluegrass. It was more than 50 years ago that banjoist Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys and transformed the band with his rapid "three-finger style" of picking, giving the music one of its most distinctive qualities in the process. Now GREAT PERFORMANCES showcases bluegrass' driving forces of the past half-century when Scruggs is joined on stage for the first time by both Doc Watson (guitar) and Ricky Skaggs (mandolin). Also joining the celebration will be other notable banjo-picking devotees in performances of classic bluegrass hits like "What Would You Give?," "Foggy Mountain Top," and other signature tunes.

The three exemplary musicians performed together for the first time in a sold-out concert held at the R.J. Reynolds Auditorium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and were joined on stage by special guest Alison Krauss. The songs they performed are included in the song list. The Multimedia Presentation offers a short history of bluegrass music and features audio clips of songs from the evening's program. The essay, written by John Uhl, examines the origins of bluegrass and the traditions that are incorporated within the genre. In Dialogue, watch interviews with the three stars, where they discuss their years playing bluegrass and each other.

A DVD of THE THREE PICKERS: LEGENDS OF AMERICAN MUSIC or the companion CD can be purchased from Shop Thirteen.


Top banner photos: Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, and the Three Pickers (Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, and Ricky Skaggs).

Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs had already performed with bluegrass giants Bill Monroe and the Stanley Brothers by the age of 10.

Dobro

The dobro, an acoustic guitar commonly used in bluegrass music, has a metal resonator.

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