And now our pre-IBMA “Bluegrass for Beginners” countdown enters contentious territory with “Feudin’ Banjos,” a 1955 hit for Don Reno and Charlotte’s own Arthur Smith.
In 1972, this was plagiarized into “Dueling Banjos” from the Burt Reynolds movie “Deliverance,” and the song got to No. 2 on the pop charts. Smith didn’t take kindly to having his song lifted without credit (or payment), and he successfully sued.Here is a 1970s-vintage version by Lester Flatt & Nashville Grass, featuring a teenage Marty Stuart on mandolin. But also check out the Smith/Reno original.