General News

Feudin' Banjos hitmaker Arthur Smith dies

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Apr 04, 2014 | 1:44pm EDT

Arthur Smith, the guitarist who created the song that inspired cult movie Deliverance's Dueling Banjos, has died, aged 93. The musician was one of the most influential country and rock 'n' roll guitarists in the 1940s and 1950s and his 1948 hit Guitar Boogie made him a household name in America. The song was also famously played by Paul McCartney during his first gig with The Quarrymen, who went on to become the Beatles. McCartney later admitted he struggled with the complex tune, prompting the band to add another guitarist, George Harrison. Smith is perhaps best known for his 1955 tune Feudin' Banjos, which was covered in Burt Reynolds' 1972 movie and renamed Dueling Banjos. The hitmaker sued Warner Bros. executives over the use of the track and won substantial royalties. He was also a successful radio and TV presenter, who hosted the syndicated The Arthur Smith Show across the U.S. for three decades.

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