Monday, April 2, 2012


With the death of banjo legend Earl Scruggs last week at the age of 88, we must assume that his televersion has passed away as well in Toobworld.

Scruggs was a member of the League of Themselves, having played himself in about seven episodes of 'The Beverly Hillbillies', the show for which he and partner Lester Flatt played the theme song.

Members of the League of Themselves are never the same person as exists in the Trueniverse. Just the fact that they're interacting with fictional characters guarantees them to be televersions and not just the people we might see in news reports or talk shows. (And I always felt talk shows were kind of fake anyway.)

Some of the more "out-there" examples - Dennis Rodman is an extra-terrestrial ('Third Rock From The Sun'); Kevin Sorbo is the real Hercules ('Hercules, The Legendary Journeys'); and Bo Derek is an evil spy ('Chuck').

The major difference for the televersions of Flatt & Scruggs was their past rivalry for the love of Pearl Bodine, Jethro's mother on the show. (Pearl was played by Bea Benaderet of 'Petticoat Junction' fame.) But to save their friendship, both men set aside their hearts' desire for Pearl and they ended up marrying other women. Both of them considered their choices as "settling".

Just as in the real world, Lester Flatt was married to a woman named Gladys who joined him in his first group, Charlie Monroe's The Kentucky Partners. Meanwhile, Earl Scruggs was married to Louise, who was the first woman to become a booking agent for artists in Nashville. (She was in charge of her husband's career for over fifty years.)

However, neither woman appeared on 'The Beverly Hillbillies' as themselves. Actresses were hired to play their parts - the stunning Joi Lansing was Gladys Flatt and Midge Ware portrayed Louise Scruggs.

Here's a picture of the real Louise Scruggs with her husband:

And this may be Gladys Flatt in the group photo:

But this is definitely her, appearing at a bluegrass festival celebrating her late husband:

And finally, here's a picture from an awards ceremony honoring Flatt & Scruggs, where Gladys Flatt (with Earl Scruggs) accepted in memory of her late husband.


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