Billy Redden or Hoyt Pollard: Who was the Banjo Player in DELIVERANCE?

There seems to be a debate over whether Billy Redden or Hoyt Pollard played the banjo playing inbreed in Deliverance. Does anybody know who this Hoyt Pollard guy is and what his claim to fame is? (I’m relatively certain Tim Burton would have gotten the right kid.) (The actual playing of Dueling Banjos was done by its composer, Eric Weissberg, who was the number one selling instrumentalist that year.)

Also: does anybody know if Redden (who is now literally the chief cook and bottle washer at the is really inbred? This has been rumored for 30 years but I’ve wondered if it’s true or just based on the fact that he was “ugly as homemade sin”. I understand that he and the other locals all had quite bad things to say about Burt Reynolds and other members of the production tea.

And also also, does anybody else think that Deliverance , while not awful, is one of the most critically overestimated movies of all time?

My apologies for the typos above. I was so anxious to post this before the site crashed again that I didn’t proofread. (You’d think that with the millions of USD, yen, Turkish lira and GBP we pay Cecil every week, he’d make a more functional site.)

Was there more than one boy at the gas station? Was there more than one gas station? I haven’t seen the movie since 1972.

I can’t remember much about the movie either, but perhaps the answer is that both Redden and Pollard played the banjo boy. This article states that Redden had difficulty feigning a realistic picking style, so while he strummed with his right hand, another boy, off camera except for his left hand, imitated the fretwork. Redden readily admits this. The name of the other boy is not explicity said, but perhaps it was Pollard, and this is how the confusion has come about. Of course neither boy actually played the song–the music was dubbed in.

Here’s a New Yorker feature on Redden, by the way.


So, 10 years after asked, a link is located for a blog written 4 years later. Billy Redden.

ETA: Oh, and not inbred.

You’re welcome.

The credits are in order of appearance. Hoyt Pollard, the kid at the gas station appears practically at the very end, which also explains why “Lonnie” appears high in the credit list.