'Dueling Banjos' composer Arthur Smith dies at 93

Published: Apr. 4, 2014 at 11:36 PM EDT
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Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith has passed away at the age of 93.

The South Carolina native was a bluegrass legend. In 1955, Smith wrote what he called 'Feuding Banjos.' It would later be known as 'Dueling Banjos' and was played during a memorable scene in the movie "Deliverance" in 1972.

"On behalf of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame (NCMHOF), we offer our deepest condolences to the entire Smith family upon the passing of their beloved Arthur Smith, a legend in this life and beyond," officials with the museum said in a statement.

"We are honored to have Arthur Smith, one of country and gospel music's finest artist and entrepreneurs as a member in the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. We are forever grateful for his contribution to the Carolina's and the world."

Smith was born in Clinton, South Carolina on April 1, 1921 and grew up in Kershaw, SC, according to the Hall of Fame.

His son Clay often played with his father, and was amazed at the talent possessed.

"I was always in awe. He had a talent you just can't duplicate, a God given talent that he could play any fret board," he said.

Smith and his brothers, Ralph and Sonny, along with bassist Luke Tucker, later formed a band they called "Smith's Carolina Crackerjacks."

Smith came to Charlotte in 1943 and performed with the Briarhoppers and Tennessee Ramblers on WBT Radio.

After returning from the Navy, which he joined in 1944, Smith signed with MGM Records.
During the 1950s and 60s, he starred on "Carolina Calling," a show that aired daily on WBTV.

He was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
Clay Smith recalls his dad's human touch.

"He was a giant in the industry, but he was a great father."

A private funeral is scheduled for Monday, and a public service is planned at Calvary Church on Saturday, April 12 at noon.

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