Arthur Smith, a trailblazing guitarist and banjoist who wrote and recorded “Guitar Boogie” and “Dueling Banjos,” the latter heard in the acclaimed movie “Deliverance,” and influenced the Beatles, among many others, died April 3 at his home in Charlotte, N.C. He was 93.

A son, Clay Smith, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.

Smith, who was equally adept on guitar, tenor banjo, mandolin and violin, recorded “Guitar Boogie” in 1946 while stationed in Washington with the Navy. The composition, essentially a piano boogie-woogie played on a folk guitar, has been jokingly called “the record that launched a million guitar lessons.’ “

Its simple form — a boogie-woogie riff followed by a hot solo — formed a template for innumerable early rock instrumentals. The record sold well for three years and appeared on the country and pop charts. Radio host Arthur Godfrey played it 10 consecutive times on his show. And, as it gained momentum, Smith substituted for his idol, Belgian-born gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, on a U.S. tour that Reinhardt could not make.

Bluegrass historian Pete Kuykendall said “Guitar Boogie” “was an early crossover hit, a melding of both the black and white influences on music at the time, a forerunner to what was later called rock-and-roll.”

Les Paul and Alvino Rey both covered the song on electric guitars, and “Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” a rocked-up version by the Philadelphia lounge group the Virtues, charted in 1959. Smith even appended his name with the song’s title — Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith — both to acknowledge its popularity and to avoid confusion with another Arthur Smith who performed on the Grand Ole Opry.

“Feudin’ Banjos,” which Smith wrote and first recorded in 1955 as a banjo duet with Don Reno, was rechristened “Dueling Banjos” in the Oscar-nominated 1972 film “Deliverance.”

The soundtrack recording by banjoist Eric Weissberg went to No. 2 on the Billboard pop chart. It is heard in a scene where a young backwoods banjo player (Billy Redden) has an impromptu jam session with a city-bred guitarist (Ronny Cox). It was not the first time the song had been recorded without crediting — or paying — Smith. However, this time he decided to sue — and won.

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