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jmarlowe

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have a topic I would love to hear hangout members reply to. Do you think the movie, DELIVERANCE hurt or helped bluegrass music. I know a lot of banjos were sold after that movie was made, but the connotation of the backwards, in-bred hillbilly playing bluegrass was born or at least  re-enforced.  Does anyone have any opinions on this?
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drbluegrass

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Reply with quote  #2 
Yeah, I think it's a little of both. But for the most part I think it had a positive influence. I went out and purchased the Weisberg (sp?) album and listened to it and learned some of the songs on my guitar. But I didn't play any other instruments at the time.
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jmarlowe

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Reply with quote  #3 
I think you are right, a little bit of both. I know a lot of Chinese made banjos were sold after the movie came out. I heard an interesting fact about the movie. The boy who plays the banjo in the movie can't play. I can't remember who played it but someone was behind the boy with arms around the boy playing. I also heard the boy who is now an older adult still lives in the mountains of Georgia and gets no royalties from the movie and didn't get paid much or anything at all. Last I read, he was working at Wal-Mart in his home town area. 
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Buzzbomb

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Reply with quote  #4 
It's been a long time since I saw it, but I think it helped bluegrass music, just as other films have given it a boost every now and then. I didn't see the portrayal of the country folk as being completely negative and I think the city folk came off in a worse light... as I 'read' it the guy they shot was looking for the missing canoeist rather than stalking them.

Somewhere I got the hazy notion that the plan to flood/dam the area, was kind of like the North kind of 'raping' the South, but like I say it's been a long time since I saw it so my memory of it may not be correct.

I read on Wikipedia that the area where it was filmed subsequently had quite a boost in tourism, with rafting generating $20m in the region in 2012.

Disappointed with the soundtrack album though - the film version of 'Dueling Banjo's' is far better.
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TDF5G

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Reply with quote  #5 
I've read that the scenes at the end of the movie were filmed at a town that was actually going to be flooded to create a lake.

From Wikipedia: Deliverance was shot primarily in Rabun County in northeastern Georgia. The canoe scenes were filmed in the Tallulah Gorge southeast of Clayton and on the Chattooga River. This river divides the northeastern corner of Georgia from the northwestern corner of South Carolina. Additional scenes were shot in Salem, South Carolina.

I remember when the film was released in the theaters when I was a kid but I wasn't old enough to see it as it was R rated.  I think it's a good movie.  That one scene is hard to watch, but it's what makes the story what it is IMO.  The movie is very close to the novel, with the exception of the character establishing in the beginning of the book.

I also remember very well the release of the album and single of Dueling Banjos (sic), originally titled Fuedin' Banjos.  It was very popular on top country radio at the time.  This was before I had learned to pick an instrument.  When I did learn to pick guitar a few years later, I did learn this tune and it was usually requested any where we went.    

I think it was a big boost for bluegrass and in particular 5 string banjo.  It brought national attention IMO.  I remember hearing bluegrass back ground music in commercials and ads on TV and radio, and still do on occasion.    

To me there were four pop culture entertainment events that gave bluegrass music a boost beginning with the theme for The Beverly Hillbillies TV show, the background music of Foggy Mt Breakdown for the film Bonnie and Clyde, the picking scene and background music of the movie Deliverance, and the movie O Bro
ther Where Art Thou.  All these were a great shot in the arm for bluegrass IMO.  It makes bluegrass known to the general public, I believe, although most folks think of it as a novelty or a hlllbilly, southern, country, farmer type of music also.  

As far as the stereotypical portrayal of "country" or "southern" folks in the movie, I was too young to understand that at the time, but now it's a joke amongst people.  The early scenes showing some of the local folks were actual folks from the area I've read, including the boy depicted playing the banjo, although he didn't really pick it as mentioned here already.  I've heard all the "paddle faster" and "you gotta purdy mouth" jokes and although I take no offense, it gets old after a while as any joke you've heard a thousand times does.   I'd say those folks in the movie are portrayed pretty realistic, although the plot of the movie might be stretching it a little.  It's a good movie and I own the DVD.  I also have the LP put out by Steve Mandell and Eric Weisberg and I have a 45 of Dueling Banjos from back in the day. 


 
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Crackedtop

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Reply with quote  #6 
I LOVE Deliverance, just one of my ' must see' fave movies.
I don't know how much the movie/Dueling Banjos has done to propel Bluegrass, so much as it's the ' one song' that EVERYONE knows as a Bluegrass song ( whether it really is or isn't I don't know as I am really a Traditional BG noobie) , so it's like a BG definer?

BTW, I do love to play this tune ( I play guitar), and l dig how in the movie they song is played in different keys, and even gets a minor key treatment as our ( now just 3) Guys
are sadly paddling towards Aintree...

" It is a matter of the LAW!"
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jmarlowe

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Reply with quote  #7 
"This River don't go to Aintree." Sorry I had to. I love the movie too. I was a big Burt Reynolds fan anyway, as I grew up during that era. To this day I love to kayak and I love rivers. And what about all the T shirts and hats that say, " Paddle faster, I hear banjo music." LOL. 
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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarlowe
"This River don't go to Aintree." Sorry I had to. I love the movie too. I was a big Burt Reynolds fan anyway, as I grew up during that era. To this day I love to kayak and I love rivers. And what about all the T shirts and hats that say, " Paddle faster, I hear banjo music." LOL. 


For those who may not know James Dickey ( Deliverance author) plays the Sheriff at the end, telling the guys " Don't come back to Aintree..."
Now I gotta find the DVD and watch!
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jmarlowe

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Reply with quote  #9 
I remember hearing that, about the author,  but I had forgotten I had heard it. It is a very interesting fact. I have the DVD somewhere. I need to find it, blow the dust off and watch. "Drew was shot, Drew was shot."
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Saska

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Reply with quote  #10 
Like 'Bonnie & Clyde'' before it,'Deliverance' put 'the sound' of Bluegrass music in front of a lot of people who might not have heard it before. Also,as per 'B & C',some of those people decide to try to make that sound for themselves,much as i did back in 1963 when i first heard Bluegrass music at a friend's home - i'm still playing !!.
  The ''Beverly Hillbillies'' did pretty much the same.

   As for the guy who was ''playing'' the banjo - he couldn't play at all. The one thing that they could have done,but didn't,was to tutor him a bit so as to make it at least look 'realistic'. Instead, his hands were flapping around like a demented chicken !!!. The actual banjo playing was done by Eric Weisberg.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dueling_Banjos

 Going back to the late 1960's early 1970's,i had the chance to play with Bill Clifton who was living over here in the UK at the time. Bill told me that at that time,there were still a lot of folk in the USA who'd never heard / 'heard of' Bluegrass music,which seemed really odd,considering it's popularity in the UK.

   It's hard to think that there might still be folk who've not heard of Bluegrass music these days,but whether it's ''for them'' - that's another matter,
                                                               Saska[wink]
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Crackedtop

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarlowe
I remember hearing that, about the author,  but I had forgotten I had heard it. It is a very interesting fact. I have the DVD somewhere. I need to find it, blow the dust off and watch. "Drew was shot, Drew was shot."


I bet putting Burt Reynolds in the movie was an initial 'turbo boost' for the film due to his popularity; it got folks to the theatre.
But it's a great ensemble cast for sure plus just a great script and story ( in the book ' Ed', the Jon Voight character is the 1st person narrator). Plus it's so cool that the river and the woods are basically characters, man vs.nature as well as man vs.man- all framed by the music!
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TDF5G

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Reply with quote  #12 
DELIVERANCE MEME.png 

I also grew up with Burt Reynolds movies.  I have some on DVD too.   Deliverance is what put him "on the map", so to say.  I always thought he was underrated as a actor. 

The song Dueling Banjos was originally recorded by Arthur Smith on plectrum banjo and Don Reno on 5 string, originally called Fuedin' Banjos in 1955.  It was recorded by The Dillards before the movie was made also.   Smith sued Warner Bros. and won over the copyrights.  

The boy on the porch depicting playing the banjo was a local kid they picked out to do that scene because they thought he fit the part.  His name is Billy Redden.  He did not play the banjo at all.  They cut out a shirt and a local banjo player named Mike Addis crouched behind him and put his arms through the sleeves to give a better appearance of him playing.  If you watch the scene closely you can see his not picking it with 3 fingers like the recording and not even wearing finger picks!  The left hand doesn't match up either or also notice he's playing an open back banjo which would not sound like a tone ring/resonator banjo either.   Movie magic I reckon. [rolleyes]  You can watch the scene on Youtube.

I also remember reading about how the director John Boorman and the drunken James Dickey had a fistfight over making the film but later became friends.






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Mandoplumb

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Reply with quote  #13 
You're right the original was Reno and Smith and called feuding banjo, recorded in the 50's if memory serves, then Carl Story recorded it and called it mocking banjo recorded in the 60's. When the movie came out everyone acted like it was new when it had been around for 20+ years.
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Saska

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Reply with quote  #14 
I went to the cinema to watch the film ''Bonnie & Clyde'' simply because it looked like a good movie. I was almost struck bumb with surprise when the first car chase took place to the accompaniment of ''Foggy Mt. Breakdown'' - it just about made my year !!!,
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eastkypicker

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Reply with quote  #15 
    

To me there were four pop culture entertainment events that gave bluegrass music a boost beginning with the theme for The Beverly Hillbillies TV show, the background music of Foggy Mt Breakdown for the film Bonnie and Clyde, the picking scene and background music of the movie Deliverance, and the movie O Bro
ther Where Art Thou.  All these were a great shot in the arm for bluegrass IMO.  It makes bluegrass known to the general public, I believe, although most folks think of it as a novelty or a hlllbilly, southern, country, farmer type of music also.  

Don't forget the Andy Griffith Show with the Dillards appearing as The "Darlings"


 
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