Earl was at Ovens Auditorium on 4/11/09 and performed as "Earl Scruggs and Friends." With him were sons Gary and Randy Scruggs and other stellar performers including fiddler Hoot Hester. Earl appeared to have a cold at this performance and seemed pretty frail (he turned 85 in January) but performed with the group on all the songs in the almost 2-hour set. There was no mistaking that famous picking style and the equally-famous banjo that was once owned by Fisher Hendley (former WBT radio star), Don Reno, and former WBT radio star Snuffy Jenkins.
In the 1950s, the WBT Briarhoppers were on the road without a banjo player. Earl Scruggs stepped in for one performance, according to Whitey Grant's interview with Rounder Record's Bill Nowlin.