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Help Deliverance "Banjo Boy" Billy Redden!

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Billy Redden is the so-called "Banjo Boy" from the iconic "Dueling Banjos" scene in the movie "Deliverance".

This scene enriched all who were involved - the movie was a hit and the song itself won a Golden Globe and a Grammy - but it did not enrich Redden.

Redden was not an actor at the time. He was a local 15-year-old in Clayton, Georgia where the film was made. The Director, John Boorman, chose Redden because he appeared to look like a backwoods boy. He filmed the scene and was largely forgotten.

Redden was not paid very much for his work in the iconic scene. Afterward, he sustained himself as a working man, working menial jobs in his local community to make ends meet. Nothing wrong with being a working man, mind you. Billy isn't complaining, but some believe there might have been some exploitation of this boy.

To be fair to the movie-makers, however, how could they have supposed at the time that this scene would not only become iconic, but legendary?

I and my Southern California-based bluegrass-ish band, The Storytellers, have drawn much inspiration and joy from watching the "Dueling Banjos" scene on YouTube, where the video has amassed over 16 million views.

My band's recent series of postings on Facebook about the "Dueling Banjos" scene and Redden has garnered much attention and interest, which inspired us to organize this campaign on behalf of Redden.

Redden is now 68-years-old. He had been working the last several years at the local Walmart. By all accounts, Billy is a kind man. Let's all help compensate him - fairly and finally - for his vital contribution to this iconic and inspirational scene that lifted the banjo, lifted bluegrass music, lifted the careers of actors Ned Beatty, John Voigt, and Ronny Cox, but somehow left Billy Redden behind.

A local trust attorney will be hired to manage the funds that are donated on behalf of Redden. Please donate generously and share our campaign widely! If we can get 20k people to donate a single dollar, this young-old man can stop worrying about money and enjoy his life, knowing his work inspired us and continues to inspire us. THANK YOU.

Please leave a message of support for Billy Redden in the comments after your generous donation!


UPDATE - April 4th - Thank you for your donations, your shares, and your interest in this campaign.

A Trust Account is being set up by the Clayton GA-based Law Offices of Russell & Russell, PC. Billy's longtime friend and business manager Kip Ramey will be named to manage the Trust Account on behalf of Billy. Attorney Bruce Russell Jr. and Clayton-based Money Manager Ara Joyce will supervise Mr. Ramey's management of the account. All funds raised through this GoFundMe campaign will be deposited into this Trust Account.


UPDATE - March 29th - We anticipate reaching our fundraising goal in the next few days! Thank you!

From the beginning of this project, we have been in communication with Kip Ramey, Billy's friend and business manager. We are working with Mr. Ramey and Enoch Autry, the Editor of The Clayton Tribune, to assemble a two-person team consisting of a local attorney and a local fund manager to act as managers of the funds raised on behalf of Billy.

An account will be created to transfer the funds upon reaching our goal. These individuals will work together to assure that the funds so generously raised by YOU are safe and used wisely and judiciously to benefit Billy Redden.


UPDATE - March 4th - We have met and talked with Mr. Redden who was just today released from the hospital. He stated that he has mounting medical bills. He has given this fundraiser his blessing and gratitude.


READ Effort to Support “Deliverance” Banjo Boy Billy Redden Underway in Saving Country Music Dot Com


The Saga of “Dueling Banjos - Part 1 of 4: Arthur Smith, left, was the actual composer of "Feudin' Banjos", recorded in 1955 with five-string banjo player Don Reno, right. When the composition was performed in the 1972 film Deliverance, retitled "Dueling Banjos" and played by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell, Smith was not credited. "Dueling Banjos" became a hit song. In what was considered a landmark copyright infringement suit, Smith sued Warner Brothers, winning a substantial settlement, included his being awarded songwriting credit and back royalties.

The Saga of “Dueling Banjos - Part 2 of 4: Speaking of "Feudin' Banjos", the first large-scale public airing of the song was on The Andy Griffith show in 1963. In the episode, the song is performed by a visiting music family, The Darlings, portrayed by The Dillards. Griffith also performed.

The Saga of “Dueling Banjos - Part 3 of 4: The song made famous in the infamous movie Deliverance - “Dueling Banjos” - was arranged and recorded by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell. They won a Grammy award for the song that is, at its heart, a duel - a competition - not unlike the clash of cultures portrayed in the classic movie scene. The underlying unity captured in the performance created the magic of that legendary track.

The Saga of “Dueling Banjos - Part 4 of 4: Billy Redden played “Lonny” the so-called “Banjo Boy” in Deliverance. He was a local teen chosen by director John Boorman to “play” the banjo in the film’s iconic “Dueling Banjos” scene. Redden didn’t play the banjo. A local musician, Mike Addis, hid behind Redden with his left arm in Redden’s shirt sleeve, to convincingly depict the movement of the boy’s left hand. Unfortunately Redden never earned much money from filming the movie and never capitalized on the scene that has become iconic and legendary.


  • Anonym
    • $10 
    • 11 hrs
  • Karen Jackson
    • $15 
    • 12 hrs
  • John W Schmidt
    • $5 
    • 1 d
  • Elissa Small
    • $20 
    • 1 d
  • Janet lamb
    • $5 
    • 3 d


Lance Frantzich
Corona, CA

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