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Eric Weissberg (1939–2020), “Dueling Banjos” banjo player

by Kirk Fox

Eric Weissberg played banjo on the hit song “Dueling Banjos,” the theme song for the movie “Deliverance.” The song was recorded by Weissberg and fellow musician Steve Mandell and became a No. 2 hit. Their version of “Dueling Banjos” was popularized in the 1973 movie “Deliverance,” starring Burt Reynolds. Weissberg was in the folk band the Tarriers in the 1960s and was a popular session player who recorded with Judy Collins, Bob Dylan, the Talking Heads, and many others. He remained a popular performer at various folk festivals.

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Died: Sunday, March 22, 2020 (Who else died on March 22?)


Details of death: Died at the age of 80 from Alzheimer’s disease.

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What they said about him: “I just learned that musician Eric Weissberg, best known for Dueling Banjos from the movie Deliverance, died last night at 80. He also played on Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks and was a lifelong friend of my father from the NYC folk scene. Rest in Peace” —Daily Show senior writer Daniel Radosh

Full obituary: Best Classic Bands

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