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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Flatt & Scruggs Live Shows

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

Matteo - Posted - 09/24/2008:  12:12:28

This topic would aim to be a list of live Flatt & Scruggs audio shows in circulation. Anyone can add those you know are existing, or help with dates.

Flatt & Scruggs Live Shows

1946-1948 Grand Ole Opry (w-Monroe)
1947/xx/xx Grand Ole Opry (w-Monroe, different)
1949/xx/xx WCYB Farm'n Fun Time (3 songs)
195x/xx/xx Earl & Don Reno on the Opry (2 songs)
195x/xx/xx Hotel Jam Session (late 50s)
1952/xx/xx Radio (?)
1952/xx/xx The Ritz Teather
1953/06/xx Martha White Monring Shows
1954/xx/xx Martha White Morning Shows
1955/xx/xx Martha White Morning Shows (w-1954 tracks)
1956/06/24 New River Ranch
1957/04/28 New River Ranch
1957/12/10 Fortune Feed Show
1957/12/xx Martha White Morning Show
1957/12/xx Leatherneck Jamboree
1957/xx/xx Martha White Biscuit Time
1957/xx/xx Jam at Arthur Smith's home
1958/06/15 New River Ranch
1958/07/27 New River Ranch
1958/xx/xx New River Ranch (various dates)
1959/09/06 New River Ranch
1959/xx/xx WSAZ-TV Shows (June and November)
1959/xx/xx Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry (from LP)
196x/xx/xx Earl, Bill Keith & Randy Scruggs
1960/05/29 New River Ranch
1960/06/16 Folk Sound USA TV Broadcast
1960/12/16 Pet Milk Grand Ole Opry
1961/04/07 Iron City, TN
1961/08/04 Scottsville, KY
1961/12/03 Mount Vernon, VA
1961/xx/xx The Ash Grove
1961/xx/xx Sunset Park
1961/xx/xx Berkeley
1962/05/12 University of Illinois (archive)
1962/12/08 Carnegie Hall
1962/xx/xx Ash Grove
1962/xx/xx Sunset Park
1963/05/02 Vanderbilt University
1963/xx/xx Earl answering a fan
1964/xx/xx Cornell University
1964/xx/xx Macon, GA (incomplete?)
1964/xx/xx Martha White Shows
1965/xx/xx Houston, TX
1965/xx/xx Grand Ole Opry Shows
1966/10/06 Houston
1966/xx/xx Cornell University
1968/03/xx Osaka, Japan

Edited by - Matteo on 10/09/2008 22:02:32

Clark - Posted - 09/24/2008:  13:23:32

Newport Folk Festival
1959 Earl w Hylo Brown
1960 F,S FMB
1966 F,S FMB

Mitch Manns
Manns Guitar Academy

Edited by - Clark on 09/25/2008 00:19:33

carteru93 - Posted - 09/24/2008:  14:45:10

1963 (released '64) F&S at Live at Vanderbilt University.

Blaylock Bear Tracks Banjo
There are no stupid questions, just dumb ones.

fgodbey - Posted - 09/24/2008:  15:32:05

Good move, Matt; this topic deserves it own space, for sure! And thanks for your list; that's a great place to start trying to figure out what I have (and where in the world they all are!) and what I'm missing.

1963/05/02 Vanderbilt University

1964/xx/xx 1st Cornell University
1965/xx/xx 1st Houston, Texas
1966/10/06 2nd Houston
1966/xx/xx 2nd Cornell University

Regarding the WSAZ-TV shows. Sid Campbell let me copy his tape in 1966; at the time he told me he'd copied the shows from tapes made by his brother, who lived near enough to WSAZ to get the show. There are three shows on that tape, not in actual air-date sequence, but you can date them by knowing that WSAZ was/is in Huntington WV, and F&S TV shows aired on Thursdays in that market. Then, by listening to the personal appearance announcements you can deduce the air dates.
Anyhow, in the order they appear on the tape (at least when it first went into circulation) they are:
1959/06/04 (this show is shorter and is probably incomplete)
The two June shows were live-on-the-air, but I'm pretty sure the November show was on video tape.


myfavefive - Posted - 09/24/2008:  17:50:00

I've got a few more:

1952 Radio, specific date unknown
1956 Marked various dates in Jan, June, July, plus some unknown dates
1956 New River Ranch - marked June 26...probably the same show you've got
1960 New River Rance - May 29
1962 Ash Grove
1962 Berkeley

Great Stuff!


bhrb75 - Posted - 09/24/2008:  19:43:47


Are there any shows out there that include the 1953 band that are not radio shows but actual live performances like the Ashgrove show? Speaking of the Ashgrove show didn't Earl's banjo sound like it was about 40 feet deep?


You need to add the Hotel Jam to this list. Did I send you a copy of this by the way?


"He lives so far back in there, they had to roll ''em Martha White biscuits in in a wheelbar."

bhrb75 - Posted - 09/24/2008:  19:48:01

Oh yeah,

I have some stuff from '59 at the radio station in Hunnington West Virgina. That's the "Sessions School Day Peanut Butter" shows. I have another show from sometime in the late '50s (I assume) that's at Sunset Park. Earl is playing some really cool stuff on "Little Darlin' Pal Of Mine."


"He lives so far back in there, they had to roll ''em Martha White biscuits in in a wheelbar."

Matteo - Posted - 09/24/2008:  22:03:12

Folks, thanks for contributing to the list.
Brandon, I tought I had added the Hotel jam...I'll do it now.
Frank and Tom, I'd love to trade something with you someday
Brandon, there is a commercially released LP called "Early 50s radio show" that has a couple of live tracks from 1953.
List is now updated with your entries

Edited by - Matteo on 09/24/2008 22:08:59

Sandy Rothman - Posted - 09/25/2008:  00:28:15

F&S didn't play Berkeley in 1962, but they did in 1961. I was at the show, just a kid at the time, my first time to see them live, but I never knew anybody taped it. If you'd be willing to trade a copy of it for something, please email me at Thanks,

bhrb75 - Posted - 09/25/2008:  07:38:02

Thanks Matt.


"He lives so far back in there, they had to roll ''em Martha White biscuits in in a wheelbar."

Wayne Holcombe - Posted - 09/25/2008:  07:57:59

Good looking list.I'll keep my eye on this on.

gDGBD - Posted - 09/25/2008:  08:15:15

I've got an audio tape of the June 16, 1960 live TV show "Folk Sound USA", on which F&S made their first national television appearance.

fgodbey - Posted - 09/25/2008:  10:02:13

A brief (non-thorough) pass through the tapes yields this:

1966/04/09 2nd Cornell University

This show does have Earl Taylor on mandolin & harmonica. He is featured on "Fox Chase" and takes a harmonica break on "Gonna Have Myself a Ball" On mandolin he takes a break on "Pig In A Pen" and gets to do a solo singing "Pretty Polly" -- this is all hand-noted on the insert. I haven't had time to listen yet, so can't say for sure if his tenor singing is audible or if there's something I didn't make a note of when I first got the show.

--More later, Frank

Matteo - Posted - 09/25/2008:  10:55:42

List was updated with Sandy and Jim's infos. Keep 'em coming!!
By the way, even if it should go in the video category, I think someone somewhere has a reel of Flatt & Scruggs on the Jimmy Dean Show.
I'm sure I saw pictures of it...late 50s...would be neat to have!

Wayne Holcombe - Posted - 09/25/2008:  13:32:24

It also has Homer & Jethro on it.

Greg Earnest - Posted - 09/25/2008:  14:00:43

Ciao, Matteo. . . this is a very important undertaking and will probably take quite a while to sort through. I'm not even sure what I have myself, partly because a lot of what I have is cobbled together from different shows. I have been thinking for quite a while that I should go through all of mine and do a listing maybe of each track, i.e., how many different live versions of "Get in Line Brother" do I have? We could give them numbers like the Messier numbers used to identify nebulae. . . is that howls of laughter I hear? Surely not.

However we can do it, I think it would be a very worthwhile collaboration to assemble a master list documenting all known live tapes of Flatt and Scruggs. Let's roll up our sleeves. . .


The Prewar Gibson Banjo website

Greg Earnest - Posted - 09/25/2008:  14:10:04

Just remembered a couple off the top of my head. . . I have an officially-released CD somewhere that has a couple of very early live Flatt and Scruggs tracks from "Farm and Fun Time" on WCYB, Bristol. . . probably the earliest live Flatt and Scruggs in existence, not counting the stuff with Monroe on the Opry. Do we include that? And also, do we include the "Chicago" tape of Scruggs by himself playing and answering questions from a fan, circa 1963? I have misplaced my copy of that but I know it's around here somewhere. . . INCREDIBLE tone, and also amazing to hear how Earl by himself playing "Down the Road" has more drive than most entire bands.

The Prewar Gibson Banjo website

Edited by - Greg Earnest on 09/25/2008 14:11:44

Sandy Rothman - Posted - 09/25/2008:  17:03:46

…a lot of what I have is cobbled together from different shows.

Nebulae indeed! Yes, that's the same problem with some of the stuff I collected years ago, resulting in lots of duplication and confusion, and there's not enough time in life to go through and sort it all out—especially when, in my case, most is on disintegrating old 7" reels and I'm not set up to digitize.

As for that tape of Earl solo, does anybody happen to know who the fan was? It had to be somebody into home recording pretty early on.

Wayne Holcombe - Posted - 09/25/2008:  17:09:43

Wasn't that the one fron Gary Indiana and the guy was making a tape for his buddy in the Navy?Nice to have buddies like that.

Greg Earnest - Posted - 09/25/2008:  18:54:14

Originally posted by Wayne Holcombe

Wasn't that the one fron Gary Indiana and the guy was making a tape for his buddy in the Navy?Nice to have buddies like that.

I don't know any background other than what's on the tape, but the fan says something about living "here in Chicago" and how he and his wife are looking forward to retirement in Asheville, North Carolina. He asks Earl how far that is from Flint Hill and Earl says something like "about 59 miles". The guy does also mention that he's sending the tape to his buddy "Turk Boden" (or something like that) in the navy. The date would be circa 1963 because Earl mentions that he and Flatt have had their band for fifteen years.


The Prewar Gibson Banjo website

Edited by - Greg Earnest on 09/25/2008 18:55:08

beeliner - Posted - 09/25/2008:  19:48:54

They were at the Ritz Theater in Livingston TN, but I'm not sure of the date. Probably around 1952.

beeliner- Revis Martin
Acts 16:31 [ KJV ]

Matteo - Posted - 09/25/2008:  22:12:22

I had forgotten about that WCYB transcription. It should date 1949, I'll have to add it to the list. I also added the stuff with Monroe.

Originally posted by beeliner

They were at the Ritz Theater in Livingston TN, but I'm not sure of the date. Probably around 1952.

You have that recorded? Would you be willing to trade ?

Sandy Rothman - Posted - 09/26/2008:  04:16:34

He asks Earl how far that is from Flint Hill and Earl says something like "about 59 miles".

Earl never was one for much inexactitude! The US Distance Calculator says 60.47 miles from Asheville to Shelby. Neither nearby Boiling Springs nor the smaller Flint Hill community are listed. Earl had it mighty close.

bhrb75 - Posted - 09/26/2008:  09:26:21

I have the Earl solo tape on cassette. I need to know what all songs were included total because I'm thinking what I have is partial. He smacks "Home Sweet Home" out of the park. The guy's buddy that was in the Navy's name was Turk or Kirk Bowden.


"He lives so far back in there, they had to roll ''em Martha White biscuits in in a wheelbar."

KLandreth - Posted - 09/26/2008:  13:22:12's a list of the known Martha White Flatt and Scruggs TV shows in the Country Music Foundation Collection and those in known private collections... with a few notes and dates for reference. The shows that have shown up on the Shanachie/CMF DVD releases are listed. You'll also notice that there's only one copy of each of the original films.


Edited by - KLandreth on 09/26/2008 13:30:03

Clark - Posted - 09/26/2008:  22:07:02

There is a recording of Earl and Reno playing a few tunes.

Mitch Manns
Manns Guitar Academy

Clark - Posted - 09/26/2008:  22:12:22

the F&S discography lists a recording of Foggy Mountian Special at the Hotel Roosevelt 5-14-63 this is a live cut with audience I wonder if the rest of the show was taped or was this a TV spot.

Mitch Manns
Manns Guitar Academy

robbif - Posted - 09/27/2008:  14:17:04


What a great topic this has become! My compliments and thanks.

I don't know if you'll find any live shows, but I recommend you take the time to search through
Audio and Video sections. I think there may even still be a candid home movie in there somewhere too.


Matteo - Posted - 09/28/2008:  03:24:46

Ken, that's impressive! Thanks for sharing.

fgodbey - Posted - 10/05/2008:  22:38:48

On May 12, 1962 Lester & Earl played at the University of Illinois.

The concert was recorded and the master tape is now at the Achives of Traditional Music at Indiana University. As I understand it, copies are not generally available unless you have some valid, demonstrable research project which would be helped by having access to the recording. Never hurts to ask, though; all they can do is say no... but they might say yes if you can prove a need.


fiddlin_Al - Posted - 10/09/2008:  21:50:34

I have an old tape of Earl, and Bill Keith accompanied by Randy Scruggs while sitting in Earl's living room around the time of the Earl Scruggs Banjo book collaboration.

When Banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos -

Edited by - fiddlin_Al on 10/17/2008 20:27:49

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