Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Dueling Banjos

First recorded (as “Feudin’ Banjos”) by Arthur Smith & Don Reno (1955).
Hit version by Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell (US #2/MOR #1/CAN #2 1973).

From the wiki: “‘Dueling Banjos’ is an instrumental composition by Arthur ‘Guitar Boogie’ Smith. The song was composed in 1955 by Smith as a banjo instrumental he called ‘Feudin’ Banjos’. The composition’s first wide scale airing was on a 1963 television episode of The Andy Griffith Show called ‘Briscoe Declares for Aunt Bee’, in which it is played by visiting musical family The Darlings (played by The Dillards, a Bluegrass group).

“The song was made internationally famous by the 1972 film Deliverance, which also led to a successful lawsuit by the song’s composer, as it was used in the film without his permission. The film version, arranged and recorded by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell, was subsequently issued as a single, peaking at #2 for four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1973.”

The Darlings, “Feudin’ Banjos” from The Andy Griffith Show (1963):

Eric Weissberg & Steve Mandell, “Dueling Banjos” (1973):

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