Earl, probably in the early 1950s
So, a female singer who abused drugs most of her adult life, drank like a fish, romances a bunch of different guys, has more conniptions than we can count. This girl poisons herself to death with drugs, and the media has nothing more to talk about every night for almost two months. Few months later, a real musician who hugely contributed to a whole new style of playing, mastered his music & his instrument of choice, stays married to the same woman for over 60 years, was always a gentleman, inspired countless banjo players, always carried himself with class, never used an ilicit drug in his life, never abused alcohol. He dies, and barely gets mentioned on the nightly newscast even once - on the day of his passing. Unbelievable.
This kind of thing bothers me to no end. You can go into any ghetto and find hundreds of little girls who can sing every bit as good as Whitney Houston, but I don't know a handful who can do what Earl did on any given day. It's all about hype, glitz & glamour, being hip, and generally being a bunch of goddam phonies. Our beloved media dictates this, and most just blindly follow - sickens me.
Greatest Banjo Player Who Ever Lived