March 26, 2007 The Flatt & Scruggs television show introduced bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs to millions of homes in the 1950s and 1960s. Tomorrow, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Shanachie Entertainment will breathe new life into what had been a fond but shadowy memory with the DVD release of the "Best of the Flatt & Scruggs TV Show."
Each disc of the two-volume set contains two 30-minute episodes of the classic bluegrass TV program from 1961 and 1962, when Flatt & Scruggs were at the peak of their performing powers and enjoying great popularity and touring success
"We did a lot of pickin' back then," Earl tells The Tennessean.. "And being on TV made a whale of a difference. Oh, that TV was a hot thing to be on. It was 'it.' That's all there was to it."
The shows were innovative on several levels: Their mix of up-tempo tunes, comedy bits, spotlight instrumentals and occasional guest performances was a template that subsequent variety shows would follow. Additionally, the Martha White in-show advertising and accompanying cooking demonstrations were precursors to modern product placement.
Titled "Flatt & Scruggs Grand Ole Opry," the show ran from 1955 until 1969, when the pair ended their partnership to take separate musical paths. The shows illustrate the band's greatness as a well-oiled performing unit. "Those were good years," Earl said of the era captured on the shows. "Basically, we had a good time with each other. There's nothing like that on the air now, I don't reckon. Technology has helped in a lot of ways. But with a lot of it, I like the old standard operation."