The banjo, both four and five string, is a fascinating musical instrument. It only takes calculated finger picking and strumming to make just the right melodies float out. Here are some of the best Banjo songs in the last century.
Foggy Morning Breakdown
A classic in the truest sense, this one was written by Earl Scruggs and recorded by Lester Flatt in 1949. The major reason for this song to get that much popularity is because of its inclusion in a motion picture. Foggy Mountain Breakdown was played in the background of Bonnie and Clyde, and then later on, in plenty of different movies. In 1969, the song, Scruggs having performed it in Washington, won a Grammy for it in the composition category. You can easily find and download a good mp3 wav of Steve Martin singing this song.
All of the contemporary banjo pickers have nothing on Tony Trischka. He is known to have played with several different styles over the years, composing all his songs for the banjo. In 2007, his album containing a compilation of all his songs, made for the most memorable tunes.
Cotton Eyed Joe
Most of us have probably heard this song played by some other instrument at least, if not the banjo. This is an old folk classic with a catchy beat. The song is probably the most popular banjo song, so much so that it comes with its own line dance (remember Urban Cowboy?). The song is recorded by tons of artists throughout history including Ricky Skaggs, Chieftains, and Burl Ives.
The banjo player may be standing at the back of a band, but they always steal the show in their solo performances. Though there are tons of instrumental tunes out there, nothing beats classical background beats. Banjo music is upbeat yet in a way soothingly melodious. You can easily download royalty free banjo music from Melody Loops.