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Big Ben (arrangement)

Posted by banjoy, written by Sonny Osbourn


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- Play count: 386

Size: 4,739kb, uploaded 10/5/2009 11:37:59 AM
Genre: Bluegrass / Playing Style: Other

You may remember this tune from the old "Country Cooking" album from the late 1970's. This is a very cool instrumental by Sonny Osbourn (played by Pete Wernick and Tony Triska) that you just don't hear anyone try to play. Maybe because it's because of the swapped beat that shies pickers away, I'm not sure. But it's a great tune that deserves more jamming attention and bands covering it. The original recording was twin banjo of Pete and Tony Trishka. I like my ending better than what they did, though, and hope you do too. This is my overdubbed twin version, again done late one evening on a friend's digital recorder as he was learning how to use it. This was recorded banjo only each in one take, then he dropped in the other tracks a few weeks later as he was learning how to use his recorder (thanks, Kent Bilbrey). Kinda sloppy but still pretty fun and interesting. If I ever make a cleaner recording of this I'll replace this one. Enjoy.

3 comments on “Big Ben (arrangement)”

schwimbo Says:
Friday, November 13, 2009 @2:57:25 PM

Hi Frank,

Big Ben is actually a Sonny Osborne tune that came out in the early 1960s on an all instrumental album that had Benny Birchfield playing the second banjo part.


banjoy Says:
Friday, November 13, 2009 @4:21:40 PM

Ok thanks for the info. I researched it more based on this info and found that the tune was written by Benny Burchfield. Accoridng to Pete Wernick "His contribution to bluegrass goes a long way back, but I remember it well: Sdeman for the Osborne Brothers around 1960, on many great records including the great Osborne Bros. instrumental album featuring lots of twin banjo, Benny playing with Sonny. Benny wrote the first tune I ever recorded, Big Ben on the first Country Cooking album. I thanked him for that." Thanks for the correction. --Frank

Kstevensmd Says:
Monday, December 12, 2011 @4:08:13 PM

My banjo lesson for this week is Big Ben. My teacher Glenn Nelson has composed a part A&B tab which sounds great, very close to yours. You recording was the only one I have been able to find, so thanks so much for that. If you would share the tab to your version, I would very much appreciate it!
Ken Stevens

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