I agree with Joel - the ORIGINAL FMB (circa 1950) is probably the best example of Earl's genius. We get so used to the song, what with somebody requesting it every time we flash our banjo in public, that we forget what a masterpiece it is. IMAGINE listening to the Grand Ole Opry in early 1950 and hearing this for the first time JEEESUS!!! - and it STILL sounds as exciting very time I hear any of those Mercury recordings. IMO, the best stuff Flatt & Scruggs ever did. It's interesting to note that these were "hurry-up" sessions, fulfilling their Mercury contract so they could sign with the larger, more prestegious Columbia label. Many were first takes, some recorded in such auspicious locations as motel rooms. They just don't make music like that any more - literally! But DAMN that Lester for playing the E major!!!! I'll bet his ghost is still snickering.

Thanks to Jack Hatfield