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March 27

From Hee Haw Show – Roy Clark And Buck Trent Dueling Banjos

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Now this will take you down memory lane, folks!

World Class Collaboration

During an unforgettable moment on Hee Haw, Clark once faced off against his frequent collaborator and fellow banjo player, Buck Trent, for an epic battle playing “Dueling Banjos.” The composition was originally composed by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith in 1955. It gained widespread popularity after it was recorded for the 1972 film, Deliverance.

At the beginning of their performance, Clark and Trent started off taking turns playing the same short patterns. As the song progressed, the patterns grew longer, and eventually, Clark and Trent ended up playing their own, unique solos.

Toward the end, the two talented pickers finally came together to play at the same time, creating an energized, toe-tapping sound in the process. Although the two of them were dueling with one another, we’d say they were both winners!

These men truly love playing the banjo and bringing wonderful music to everyone’s ears. Watch the awesome performance below.

Dueling Banjos

“Dueling Banjos” is, of course, from the 1972 film Deliverance, which stars Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox.

You can check out the Deliverance version, which was featured in this article: THE ICONIC DUELING BANJOS SCENE FROM FILM “DELIVERANCE” WILL BLOW YA’LL AWAY.

From Hee Haw Show - Roy Clark And Buck Trent Dueling Banjos 1

“Dueling Banjos” is an instrumental composition by Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith. The song was composed in 1954 by Smith as a banjo instrumental he called “Feudin’ Banjos,” which contained riffs from “Yankee Doodle.” Smith recorded it in 1955 playing a four-string plectrum banjo and accompanied by five-string bluegrass banjo player Don Reno. 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).

Roy Clark

Roy Clark is an unlikely critter to have become America’s best-known country star. He never, as the saying goes, paid his dues—unless one counts the morning shave when Clark has to look into the mirror.

The son of two amateur musicians, Roy Clark began playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin at an early age. By the time he was 14, he was playing guitar behind his father at local dances. Within a few years, he had won two National Banjo Championships, with his second win earning him an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Despite his success as a musician, Clark decided to pursue an athletic career, rejecting baseball for boxing. At the age of 17, he won 15 fights in a row before deciding that he would rather be a musician than a fighter.

From Hee Haw Show - Roy Clark And Buck Trent Dueling Banjos 2

Buck Trent

Buck “Mr. Banjo” Trent is not only one of the finest players in country music, he is also the inventor of the electric banjo.

His real name is Charles Wilburn Trent. He began playing steel guitar at age seven.  At the age 17, he debuted professionally on an Ashville, North Carolina television station. He joined the Bill Carlisle Show near the end of the 1950’s. Soon afterward, made his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. In 1962, he joined Porter Wagoner’s Wagon Masters and designed the electric banjo, an instrument shaped something like a steel guitar which featured a mobile bridge used to change the pitch. Trent remained with Wagoner through 1973 and then spent the next seven years as the opening act for Roy Clark; he also appeared regularly as a featured musician on the long-running TV show Hee Haw.

He began recording in 1962, initially under the name Charles Trent; during the 1970’s, he recorded several albums, including Bionic Banjo (1976). He began recording on his own Buck Trent label in the 1980’s. Two years later recorded an eponymous album on MCA/Dot. During the 1990’s, he was a regular performer in Branson, Missouri.

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