Bobby Osborne, Half A Century On The Grand Ole Opry

Bobby-Osborne-50th-Anniversary-perform-Hollo-8622-8-2-14Bobby Osborne
Half A Century On The Grand Ole Opry
By Bill Conger

Stylishly dressed in a white suit, purple shirt, and his trademark fedora, Bluegrass Hall Of Fame member Bobby Osborne stood on the famous circle of wood on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Surrounded by his Rocky Top X-Press band that is now comprised of his three sons—Bobby, Jr., aka “BOJ” (bass), Robby Osborne (drums), Wynn Osborne (banjo)—as well as Buddy Griffin (fiddle) and Joe Miller (guitar), the bluegrass icon looked into the faces of adoring fans. On this warm August 2nd night, he’s ready to hit that first piercingly high-tenor note to kick off his signature smash hit “Ruby.” It was that same song that Osborne performed alongside his now-retired brother, Sonny, on the famous duo’s debut as Opry members on August 8, 1964.

“I was pretty shaky that first time I went on that stage,” Osborne told the intimate gathering of friends, family, and fellow musicians backstage following his fiftieth anniversary performance. “But tonight, I thought, ‘Boy, this ain’t no time to get scared now,’” he added, evoking the partiers to roaring laughter.

“The Osborne Brothers really were bluegrass music genre-defining pioneers,” said Opry Entertainment President Steve Buchanan during his on-stage presentation of a gold watch commemorating the special occasion. “They are innovators and truly have contributed greatly to American music.” Read entire article »

Bobby Osborne — Half A Century On The Grand Ole Opry
By Bill Conger

Wyatt Rice
By Lee Kotick

Instrument Gear
By Dale and Darcy Cahill

The Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys —Forty-Six Years Of Mountain State Bluegrass
By Ivan Tribe

Growing Up Stanley
By Bill Conger

General Store
Notes & Queries
National Bluegrass Survey
Personal Appearance Calendar
Advertiser Index
Classified Ads

Subscribe today!

View IBMA 2014 Award Nominees

Bluegrass Survey

Top Album for November

Rounder 9170

Top Song for November

BUSY CITY, RHONDA VINCENT (Jesse Daniel) ONLY ME, Upper Mgmt. 007

November 2014 Reviews


OLD SOUTH THE HANGING TREE No Label No Number    Old South is a veteran bluegrass quintet hailing from Adelaide in southern Australia. They have experience, enthusiasm, a nice repertoire of original songs written in the traditional style, and a resonator guitarist named Leonard Cohen (who really should look into teaming up with the Seldom […]

Read full review »

JOHN BOWMAN WORSHIP HIM Pisgah Ridge PR 15462    John Bowman’s last solo gospel recording was one given entirely to the songs of Joe Isaacs. This time, Bowman casts his song net a bit wider, mixing together a couple of traditional tunes—“God’s Not Dead” and “Summer’s Gone (My God Made It All)”—with songs both old […]

Read full review »

AFTER JACK ECHO Travianna Records TR140422    After Jack is a trio of young ladies from the Virginia/North Carolina/Tennessee area and this is a mostly original project showing their strong influences of old-time, bluegrass, and Americana music. The trio is Mary Allison (guitar and percussion), Emily Blankenship (bass), and Rachel Blankenship (banjo, mandolin, and percussion). […]

Read full review »

RACHEL BURGE AND BLUE DAWNING Mountain Fever Records MFR 140624    New to Mountain Fever Records and making their recording debut as a well is Rachel Burge and Blue Dawning. Burge is on mandolin. Lance Gainer plays guitar, Michele Birkby-Vance the fiddle, Radford Vance the banjo, and Rick Westerman the bass. Everyone shares in the […]

Read full review »

LARRY SPARKS LONESOME AND THEN SOME… A CLASSIC 50TH CELEBRATION Rebel Records REB-CD-1846 It doesn’t seem all that long ago when Larry Sparks’ fortieth anniversary album was released, which finally garnered the lonesome legend the IBMA Album Of The Year, Recorded Event Of The Year, and Male Vocalist Of The Year awards. Since then, impressively, […]

Read full review »
The High-48s

THE HIGH 48s BLUEGRASS BAND GREAT NORTHERN RAILROAD No Label No Number    Trains, trains, and more trains dominate the entire sixth recording from the High 48s, and why not? Trains have a strong hold on our music and our collective memory, even as they have less physical presence for us today. Interestingly, of the […]

Read full review »

VARIOUS ARTISTS CLOSE KIN: OUR ROOTS RUN DEEP Mountain Roads Recordings MMR-1020    This recording is a follow-up to the first Close Kin CD that featured bluegrass and old-time musicians playing together. This project, also produced by Johnny Williams, does that. However, the 11 musicians who play and sing on these dozen songs and tunes […]

Read full review »

BOURBON BARREL CONGRESS No Label No Number    There’s always been a general consensus that an album, especially a debut album, should give a balanced representation of what kind of music a band plays. On this self-titled CD, Bourbon Barrel Congress, a quintet from central Virginia, is either remarkably diverse or else hasn’t quite made […]

Read full review »

JIM AND LYNNA WOOLSEY THE ROAD THAT BRINGS YOU HOME Broken Record Records BRR1001    This is a wonderful project of original material from Jim and Lynna Woolsey. Written in a modern bluegrass style with a traditional edge, these songs could be welcome additions to anyone’s repertoire. With Jim on guitar and Lynna sharing the […]

Read full review »

RICHARD BENNETT IN THE WIND SOMEWHERE Lonesome Day Records LDR 041    Scanning down the list of ten songs on Richard Bennett’s new CD, the temptation is to jump ahead to the six (of seven total) covers that close the recording to see how Bennett and guests Steffey, Stewart, Schatz, Rice, and Lane interpret them. […]

Read full review »

VARIOUS ARTISTS YOU ARE THERE: CLASSIC EARLY FILMS OF LEGENDARY PERFORMERS, 1952-54 Shanachie 622DVD    Albert C. Gannaway, Jr., (1920-2008) was years ahead of his time. A noted film and television producer and songwriter, he had written songs for Nat King Cole, Bob Hope, Frankie Lane, and collaborated with Johnny Mercer on others. He produced several […]

Read full review »

RACHEL EDDY NOTHIN’ BUT CORN No Label No Number    Rachel Eddy’s musical journey is an interesting one and international in scope. She is a very talented musician from West Virginia who grew up in a musical family. Eddy’s dad expertly played the “don’t touch my fiddle” trick when she was a kid, hoping his […]

Read full review »