Randy Scruggs, a Grammy-winning musician, songwriter, producer and the son of banjo innovator Earl Scruggs, died Tuesday after an illness. He was 64 years old.
He began making music professionally when he was just 13, and worked with everyone from Waylon Jennings to Miranda Lambert. Over the course of his career, he played on hundreds of recordings, including two of country and roots music’s landmark albums: the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” and John Hartford’s “Aereo-Plain.” He also produced the Dirt Band’s subsequent two “Circle” volumes as well as recordings by Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, Iris DeMent and many more.
More than 100 of his songs were recorded over the years. Deana Carter took “We Danced Anyway,” a song he wrote with Matraca Berg, to the top of the country charts in the mid-1990s. He also wrote several songs with Earl Thomas Conley, including the No. 1 singles “Don’t Make It Easy for Me” and “Angel in Disguise.”