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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Another Opry Article with Pic,3034,GAC_26063_5943636,00.html

Steve Martin Brings Banjo to Opry

Steve Martin makes his Grand Ole Opry debut on May 20, 2009. Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry.

June 1, 2009 — Steve Martin is best known as a comedian, but he pulled out the banjo Saturday as he made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry, where he was so well received that he was asked to do an encore.

The greatest banjo player in Opry history is Earl Scruggs, and his influence was recognized heavily throughout the performance. Son Randy Scruggs was part of Steve’s band — along with Vince, Stuart Duncan, John McEuen and Tim O’Brien, among others — and Steve’s set list included "Daddy Played The Banjo," a song he co-wrote with another Scruggs son, Gary Scruggs.

"Who better to write a song called ‘Daddy Played The Banjo’ than Gary Scruggs?" Steve noted.

The song was one of three Steve performed from his album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo. He kicked off his debut with "Pitkin County Turnaround" and had Vince and Amy Grant sing lead on "Pretty Flowers."

"We’re thrilled and honored to have you here," Vince told Steve after calling him out for the encore. "Let’s pay a little tribute to Earl."

They then launched into "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," one of the staples of Earl’s longtime partnership with Lester Flatt.

Steve’s Opry debut will be featured Thursday on GAC’s Headline Country at 9 p.m. ET. Others in the episode include Gary Allan, Montgomery Gentry, Miranda Lambert and the Eli Young Band.


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