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March 22

Why today? Six weeks after Flatt & Scruggs performed this song on an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies, fans got their first chance to own a copy when the single was released on this date in 1963.

About the record: Columbia 4-42755, recorded Feb. 25, 1963, at the Columbia studio in Nashville. Released March 22, 1963. Also appeared on the album Flatt & Scruggs’ Greatest Hits, Columbia CS 9370, released 1966.

About the artists: If bluegrass music was in a lull in the 1960s, as many fans now believe, Flatt & Scruggs had sure found a way to keep their names out there. They and the Foggy Mountain Boys were then the biggest stars in bluegrass, thanks in no small measure to their music’s weekly exposure on one of TV’s highest-rated programs. Beyond playing the theme song, Lester and Earl occasionally portrayed themselves on the show, cast as longtime friends of the Clampetts. On such an episode from the series’ first season, we learn our heroes had courted Jed’s cousin Pearl back in the day. Here, from the episode, is the back story, and F&S’s minimalist performance of “Pearl, Pearl, Pearl.” If you slick your hair with possum fat, no offense intended.

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