Whether you’re a fan of the banjo, or bluegrass and folk in general, or even if you’re not, nearly everyone recognizes the opening riff of the iconic instrumental “Dueling Banjos” made famous in the 1972 film Deliverance. And now guy who actually played the banjo on the song has passed away.
The Beastie Boys
The Kansas City Chiefs walked away with the Vince Lombardi Trophy for winning Super Bowl XIL over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday, but when it came to the musical performer that saw the biggest boost in revenue during the big game’s highly-anticipated advertising segments, it was none other than Johnny Cash.
It’s been my contention for years that if genre bending pioneer Beck ever made a straight up country record, it could have a similar effect as when The Byrds, heavily influenced by Gram Parsons, released Sweetheart of the Rodeo, allowing young hip listeners outside of country’s borders to realize the virtues of the genre.”I’m hearing the Byrds, Crosby Stills and Nash, Gram Parsons, Neil Young,” says Beck.
Where the country world comes in is in the heavy-handed and stark use of country and Southern influences in Paul’s Boutique, made by hip-hop pioneers from New York City. In many ways, country and Southern sounds and themes are the foundation for Paul’s Boutique. The problem with Paul’s Boutique was that it was not very popular in its time, and was considered a flop compared to License to Ill.
In the end, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t illegitimate because of who has been inducted into their institution, it’s illegitimate because it is an institution, formed around a genre of music whose roots are in rebelling against institutions. Conversely, where the Rock & Roll HOF found its fundamental weakness is where the Country Music HOF finds its strength.