Banjo Showcase: Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell

“Dueling Banjos” is an instrumental composition that gained widespread recognition after it was featured in the 1972 film “Deliverance.” The version performed by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell became particularly popular. Weissberg played the banjo, while Mandell played the guitar. The song was composed by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith in 1955, originally titled “Feudin’ Banjos,” but it gained prominence with Weissberg and Mandell’s rendition.

In “Deliverance,” the song is famously performed in a banjo-guitar duet between a city man and a local boy. The scene became iconic and contributed to the song’s lasting popularity. “Dueling Banjos” is characterized by its lively and intricate banjo and guitar playing, creating a playful musical conversation between the two instruments.

The song’s popularity led to its release as a single, which became a hit in 1973, reaching the top of the charts in several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. “Dueling Banjos” became synonymous with banjo music and is often associated with traditional American folk and bluegrass genres.

The enduring appeal of “Dueling Banjos” lies in its catchy melody, impressive instrumental skills, and its status as a cultural touchstone thanks to its association with “Deliverance.” The song continues to be celebrated by music enthusiasts and remains a beloved piece in the world of instrumental music.

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