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Jul 2, 2022 - 6:37:21 AM
55 posts since 7/15/2008

There are songs we all love, and some we hate. Songs we have on that list of must learn and some of those jam busters. You know what I mean. Tunes that are very popular to those out side of our circle that are thought of as defining the genre.
Maybe it's just me. But I have heard the groans from others when some one says, hey can you play, well, you fill in the blank.
At the top of my list is
Dueling Banjos.
Wagon Wheel.

Jul 2, 2022 - 7:24:27 AM
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9 posts since 5/20/2022

Leaving On A Jet Plane
Puff The Magic Dragon

Jul 2, 2022 - 8:10:03 AM
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5503 posts since 5/9/2007

Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Jul 2, 2022 - 8:40:18 AM

1905 posts since 5/19/2018

Free bird!!!!

Jul 2, 2022 - 8:51:16 AM
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591 posts since 3/25/2009

Free Bird reminds me of when I was playing a New Year's Eve job in a bluegrass band when a drunk threatened my life if we didn't play Free Bird! I was saved when his sober wife pulled him away by his ear. We then said we would play a song with a lot of the same words and chords as Free Bird.

Jul 2, 2022 - 9:43:29 AM
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37 posts since 1/18/2022

Ballad of jed clampett, only babies play tv themes.

Jul 2, 2022 - 9:49:18 AM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)


26168 posts since 6/25/2005

When I played bluegrass, I played none of the above.

Jul 2, 2022 - 9:54:19 AM

7848 posts since 8/30/2004

Ha, same here Bill. I can arrange them for clawhamner though...j
Originally posted by Bill Rogers

When I played bluegrass, I played none of the above.

Jul 2, 2022 - 10:27:32 AM



11395 posts since 6/5/2011

I can sorta do an alternating thumb roll to accompany what I euphemistically call my singing.  So, as for songs I don't play .... you name it, I don't "play" it. 

Jul 2, 2022 - 10:39:30 AM
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4500 posts since 5/29/2011

Foggy Mountain Breakdown
Literally, if someone asks me if I know Foggy Mountain Breakdown I tell them, "No, I never heard of that one."
I suppose it is a good tune but, after playing it about 30,000 times, it got kind of old. Since I no longer play out in public I don't have to please a paying audience like I once did. I have gotten a bit crotchety in my declining years.

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Jul 2, 2022 - 10:55:45 AM
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5845 posts since 10/12/2009

Songs I won't played when requested to:

"Bonnie & Clyde" (FMB)

"Deliverance" (Dueling Banjos)

"Beverly Hillbillies" (Ballad of Jed Clampett)

Rocky Top

Jul 2, 2022 - 11:21:13 AM
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7848 posts since 8/30/2004

Foggy Mt. Breakdown, Duelling Banjos, and Jed Clampett gave you guys jobs

Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/02/2022 11:22:23

Jul 2, 2022 - 11:31:41 AM

5503 posts since 5/9/2007

Originally posted by Bill Rogers

When I played bluegrass, I played none of the above.


Jul 2, 2022 - 11:31:57 AM

13436 posts since 6/2/2008

I think Dueling Banjos is the only one I prefer not to play.

But no one really asks any more.

I'm pretty sure my 1980s bluegrass band was not above playing Rocky Top or Foggy Mountain Breakdown. Some gigs we had four sets to fill. I don't think they were ever part of our one- or two-set concert shows.

Jul 2, 2022 - 12:01:57 PM
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4391 posts since 6/15/2005

To paraphrase the late, great Yogi Berra, these tunes are so popular nobody plays them anymore.

Jul 2, 2022 - 1:21:14 PM

76408 posts since 5/9/2007

Song choice depends on the audience,imo.If we get a request that we know how to play we say "We'd love to play that for you."
As far as what instrumentals I like to learn I'm not interested in Nola or Humoresque,but some folks like to say I'm lazy for not learning them.
We played Wagon Wheel to a good response last week.
One of my steel friends refuses to play Steel Guitar Rag.

Jul 2, 2022 - 1:43:45 PM
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65057 posts since 10/5/2013

I love’em all,, the ones overplayed in the 1970’s rarely get played anymore so they’ll be fresh to bluegrass newbies, whether they’re players or listeners.

Jul 2, 2022 - 3:46:45 PM
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23017 posts since 7/6/2005

I feel as if I have an obligation to my audience to perform a cursory attempt. Some bluegrass artist recounted how someone in the audience hollered out,"Play Foggy Mountain Breakdown, so we can tell how good you are!"

Edited by - beegee on 07/02/2022 15:47:19

Jul 2, 2022 - 6:42:11 PM

55 posts since 7/15/2008

Thanks all for responding. There are some good answers.
Many of your replies triggered a memory of some experience.

Jul 2, 2022 - 6:48:43 PM

152 posts since 2/7/2020

I don't think I've ever been asked to play FMB or Dueling Banjos.

I play Rocky Top and Wagon Wheel fairly regularly, no qualms.

A few times I've played Beverly Hillbillies, but not like at a gig.

Jul 2, 2022 - 7:02:18 PM
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76408 posts since 5/9/2007

A small red-headed girl came up to the stage one time years ago and said "Play Rocky Top or I'll punch your lights out."
Not wanting any trouble we played Rocky Top as good as we could for her.She gave us two thumbs up and has said the same thing to us when at any of our gigs ever since.It's become a sort of ritual.

We all chime in and say it together.

Jul 2, 2022 - 7:32:27 PM
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3203 posts since 1/31/2005

She was probably from Tn. That's the way we are!!

Jul 3, 2022 - 5:54:45 AM

4263 posts since 3/28/2008

I've never particularly cared for "Blackberry Blossom". I'll play it if it comes up in a jam session, and there are reasons why I might show it to some of my students, but I've never found it interesting.

Jul 3, 2022 - 6:46:15 AM

7848 posts since 8/30/2004

Pretty silly topic to me. Are we getting this desperate for something to chatter about? Bluegrass isn't exactly complicated music but fun to play noisey banjos to...Let's go back to obsessessing about every note every played...Ha!!!
Ira, Blackberry Blossom is far more interesting than most of the bluegrass songs I've ever at least breaks the one four five combination...Isn't banjo all about blistering speeds as the ultimate goal? Or, tunes so complicated that the human brain can't figure it out without a degree in music....
What do I like? Well that's simple--just making sound on a very peculiar instrument...Jack   p.s. I've already put on my bullet proof vest on...
Originally posted by Dale Diehl


Edited by - Jack Baker on 07/03/2022 06:58:40

Jul 3, 2022 - 6:49:21 AM
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327 posts since 3/2/2013

If I know the tune thats requested I'll always play it no matter what. It's so worth the tiny bit of effort just to see someone else smile even tho the song may do nothing for me. And I'm with Chas...there's been such a resistance to playing the overdone ones since the old days that now they're all new again. At least around these parts.

Edited by - 81goldstar on 07/03/2022 06:50:48

Jul 3, 2022 - 7:00:13 AM
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3705 posts since 10/29/2003

I'll play anything ,or try to
I see those overdone tunes as an opportunity to use the imagination and maybe travel off the beaten path.


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