Eric Weissberg, Whose ‘Dueling Banjos’ Was an Unlikely Smash, Dies at 80

  • Variety
Eric Weissberg, Whose ‘Dueling Banjos’ Was an Unlikely Smash, Dies at 80
Eric Weissberg, half of the duo that recorded “Dueling Banjos” for the film “Deliverance” in 1973, resulting in an unlikely smash hit single and album, has died at 80. Family members and friends said Weissberg had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for years.

Weissberg was a fixture on the New York folk scene before being enlisted to bring his banjo cover the traditional but largely unfamiliar instrumental with Steve Mandell for John Boorman’s adventure-thriller in 1972. When it was released as a single, it rose to No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart and stayed there for four weeks in 1973, blocked from the top spot only by Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song.” An album of Weissberg’s roots music that was rush-released as a soundtrack to “Deliverance” ran into no such hindrance — it topped the album sales chart for three weeks.

In a 2011 conversation with Chris Willman for the Los Angeles Times,
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