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Jul 12, 2020 - 11:37:34 AM
193 posts since 6/19/2017

So I would like some insight into a question I have had for a long time. I was told by someone that it is Don Parmley and NOT Earl Scruggs playing banjo during the opening theme/credits to The Beverly Hillbillies. However, I was told that Lester and Earl were playing during the end credits. I will admit that during the opening to the BH, it sounds different than the version played during the end credits. I personally do not think Earl is playing during the opening credits because it doesn't quite sound like Earl, and I've listened to a lot of Earl. However, I could be wrong and I'm willing to admit that. Thanks!

Jul 12, 2020 - 12:17:22 PM
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13102 posts since 10/30/2008

Don played the "incidental" banjo phrases in the body of the program. Flatt & Scruggs played the opening and closing themes. Lester did not sing.

In later years of the show Don's incidental banjo picking was replaced by electric guitar.

The only exception was in the pilot episode (when Jed found the oil); the incidental music was mostly "Sally Ann" from the Foggy Mountain Banjo LP.

Jul 12, 2020 - 1:46:49 PM

193 posts since 6/19/2017

I know that Parmley played all the "filler" banjo throughout the episodes. However, to my ears, the banjo played during the intro does not sound like the way that Earl plays "The Ballad of Jed Clampett". I know that Earl never played things the same way twice but there are some distinct ways he played some of the melody notes in both the end credits and the F&S recorded version that are absent in the intro version. Once again, I could be wrong. I just don't think the intro banjo sounds quite like Earl.

Jul 12, 2020 - 3:00:37 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


23785 posts since 6/25/2005

I think Don was in SoCal during the BH years, and handier to record tracks in that pre-digital age.

Jul 15, 2020 - 7:43:20 PM

5049 posts since 9/5/2006

it was earl,,, we are just so use to hearing it at speed that when its slowed down earls notes sounded more emphatic but it was jerry scoggins singing and earl pickin. parmley did play the scene music during the show.

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