Bluegrass Banjo

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"The Ballad of Jed Clampett" was the theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies TV show and movie, providing the back story for the series. The song was written and composed by Paul Henning, and sung by Jerry Scoggins, who was accompanied by bluegrass musicians Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. When the theme was released as a single, Flatt sang lead vocals instead.

The single version, released to radio and retail sale, merged both the opening and closing lyrics of the theme song from the television series. The first two verses (starting with "Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed" and "Well the first thing you know, old Jed's a millionaire") comprised the opening theme, while the closing theme ("Now it's time to say goodbye to Jed and all his kin ...") served as the third verse. A banjo-led bridge serves as the fill between verses and as the fade-out coda.

Although the first two seasons of The Beverly Hillbillies lapsed into the public domain, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" did not and is typically edited out of public-domain releases of these episodes.

 

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