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Over the course of his 66-year career, Roy Clark has earned the reputation as one of the most talented and respected banjo players in the world. As the host of the popular television show Hee Haw from 1969-1992, millions of people witnessed Clark’s astonishing talent.
Clark also played the classical guitar and many other instruments, but the banjo remains the one he is recognized for. Due to his skill as a musician, Clark was credited with helping to influence multiple generations of bluegrass and country music artists.
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, and 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!
You can check out Clark and Trent’s “Dueling Banjos” performance in the video below.
When it comes to country music, nothing beats listening to a well-played banjo!
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