I was misled. That is a quote for Stephen King's "The Stand," I can't remember exactly where or from whom, but some guy had just been whacked by the devil and his last words were "I was misled..."
I spent the bulk of my years in the banjo world playing exclusively in the bluegrass style. And I enjoyed it immensely, no doubt about it. I used to read everything I could get my hands on about Earl Scruggs and the development of the banjo style. Everything I read told me the same basic story...banjo playing clunked along throughout history until Earl made the smooth, fast, flowing bluegrass style a reality. 1945 is when the banjo became a truly exciting instrument, according to that version of banjo history.
The truth is, the five-string banjo had been a really kick-ass instrument from the beginning. And by the time of the "classic" era, it had developed to a point where it knew no limits. It's repertiore was as varied as the hues of the rainbow. In fact, it was actually more important to American (and European) culture than it is in the modern era.
I'm ranting here, I know, but I guess I'm just sorry I didn't appreciate to true scope of the banjo until now.