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“Dueling Banjos” Go Pluck-For-Pluck On Turntable Tuesday

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"Dueling Banjos" by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell

“Dueling Banjos” by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell

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CBS-FM has a fun feature called Turntable Tuesday. Once an hour, we play an “oh wow” record from vinyl. I feel like Dr. Johnny Fever when I “cue up” a record.

Today we celebrate 40 years of “Dueling Banjos.” It was written way back in 1955 as a song called “Feudin’ Banjos” and was played once on The Andy Griffith Show. But an unforgettable scene in the movie Deliverance made the song iconic. Ronnie Cox and Billy Redden nearly had moviegoers on their feet, propelling the “new” version of “Dueling Banjos” to peak at #2 on the charts, where it would stay for a month.

Watch the scene from Deliverance below.

FUN FACT: Billy Redden (who plays “Lonnie,” the local banjo-playing albino boy) would not have a credited appearance in another movie for over 30 years. He is credited as “Banjo Man” in Tim Burton’s 2003 film Big Fish. He has an uncredited appearance in Blastfighter from 1984, also as “Banjo Man.”

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