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Another celebrity appearance for Rabun star

By Blake Spurney News Editor Thursday, October 7, 2004 10:32 AM EDT

Billy Redden poses with one of his many mementos in front of the Cookie Jar Café. Visitors regularly ask to have their picture taken with Redden who has appeared in two movies and will soon be on 'Blue Collar TV.'
 

Rabun County's most famous "musician" has been invited to make another cameo appearance.

Billy Redden is going to Athens today to appear in a "Blue Collar TV" sketch at the request of comedian Jeff Foxworthy. The show's crew is filming four different nights over the next two weeks in front of a live audience at the Athens Classic Center.

"It didn't bother me," Redden said about the request. "I'm getting used to it."

During a discussion with producers about a sketch they were planning to do, Foxworthy joked that it would be great to get the banjo player from "Deliverance." A crew member who used to work in Rabun stepped forward and said he knew where to find Redden.

Lately, it seems everyone knows how to get a hold of him. A New Mexico radio station called the Cookie Jar Café on Monday to talk to him about "Big Fish," said Ron Baumes, who along with wife Annette and Redden, runs the restaurant.

"He's probably done, I'm not exaggerating, 200 radio interviews since 'Big Fish'," Baumes said.

Last year, Tim Burton tracked down Redden for a cameo appearance in the movie about a father's larger-than-life journey through a Deep South town. Burton had been a fan of the banjo player in "Deliverance."

Blue Collar producer Chris Plourde said instead of getting someone who looked like Redden, the show was getting Redden.

"So Billy's going to have a turn with us with his banjo and himself," Plourde said. "'Big Fish' kind of put him back on the radar with people."

Baumes said he was assured that the sketch would be done tastefully and that if anyone was going to be the butt of a joke, it would be the show's stars.

"This has got Billy really excited because he knows who Jeff Foxworthy is, and we all watch that show," Baumes said.

The opportunity also allows the restaurant to add to its collection of news stories and photographs hanging on the walls. "He's got a bunch of stuff on the wall, and we'll be able to add more hopefully," Baumes said.

Redden also gets regular requests from people wanting their picture taken with him. "I have people out here right now who want to get a picture of me holding the banjo," he said.


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