Give an ear: Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs perform “The Ballad of Jed Clampett.”
“The Ballad of Jed Clampett” is a classic bluegrass song written by Paul Henning, which served as the theme song for the popular 1960s television show, “The Beverly Hillbillies”. The song was performed by bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, who were also featured on the show.
The song tells the story of Jed Clampett, a poor mountaineer who strikes it rich when he discovers oil on his property. The lyrics are filled with humorous lines that capture the show’s lighthearted tone, such as “black gold, Texas tea” and “swimming pools, movie stars”.
Musically, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” is characterized by its upbeat tempo and catchy melody. The instrumentation is dominated by acoustic guitar, banjo, and mandolin, with Flatt and Scruggs’ signature harmonies adding an extra layer of depth to the arrangement.
Flatt and Scruggs’ performance of “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” is particularly noteworthy for their skill as musicians and their ability to capture the essence of the show’s characters through their music. Their energetic playing and tight harmonies perfectly complement the song’s lyrics, creating a sound that is both authentic and entertaining.
Overall, “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” is a beloved classic in both the bluegrass and country music genres. Its infectious melody and humorous lyrics have made it a favorite among fans of all ages, and its association with one of television’s most iconic shows has helped to ensure its enduring popularity over the years.