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Feb 4, 2019 - 7:10:40 AM
Players Union Member

RB00

USA

871 posts since 3/10/2006

Doc Osborne has a nice ring to it as well! Congratulations!

Feb 4, 2019 - 7:57:07 AM
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887 posts since 3/6/2006

It was a great day at the Hall of Fame last Friday. It's a humbling experience to perform in front of so many people that changed my life; my nerves were shook. It's a memory that I'll cherish forever.

Sonny, I've got that banjo out today and am working on that thing you told me not to do. ;) ;)


 

Feb 4, 2019 - 9:08:07 AM

5873 posts since 10/13/2007

Congratulations Sonny on a wonderful award. It is great to see institutions of higher learning acknowledging the music that we all love.
ken

Feb 4, 2019 - 4:50:07 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Thank you...all. Really appreciate it...you know!

Jim Smith has informed me that our old friend and fellow banjo player, Larry Mathis is very ill. If you are a praying person, how bout mentioning him. Peggy and Larry will certainly appreciate it, as will I.

s

Feb 5, 2019 - 4:18:55 PM

2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Derek:

Doing it your way, and some others, breaks the continuity of the rhythm....in my opinion the way I told you does not interfere with the vocalist and makes for a smoother background.  10/4

You're a fine player and it was a pleasure meeting, and hearing you with Larry. He has the best band now man for man, and vocals that he's had.

You're all good.

Feb 6, 2019 - 6:16:28 AM

jrimes

USA

36 posts since 4/28/2010

Dr. Osborne,
First of all, congratulations on the doctorate, a more deserving specimen would be hard to find.
Second, I've got one of those deep questions for you again...
I just read Tom Piazza's book "True Adventures With the King of Bluegrass" and I must say it was hard to put down, but ultimately paints Jimmy Martin as a pretty difficult man and his own worst enemy. Was he really a hard-nosed, self-centered booze hound...or ... was he really a great guitar player and singer that was jaded and disgruntled for never being invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry? I had a million questions when I got done with the book. What are your thoughts?
Much appreciated, as always!
Josh

Feb 6, 2019 - 9:12:59 AM

887 posts since 3/6/2006

quote:
Originally posted by TheChief

Derek:

Doing it your way, and some others, breaks the continuity of the rhythm....in my opinion the way I told you does not interfere with the vocalist and makes for a smoother background.  10/4

You're a fine player and it was a pleasure meeting, and hearing you with Larry. He has the best band now man for man, and vocals that he's had.

You're all good.


Your opinion is right. :) It's one of those little things that slipped in without me even realizing it. But now that it's been brought to my attention it's completely obvious. Now I just have to work on breaking the habit.

Thank you for the kind words, Sonny. Hope to see you again soon. 

Feb 6, 2019 - 6:16:11 PM
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5873 posts since 10/13/2007

Sonny,
When the Osborne Brothers were going full speed and you had great album after great album, how much of a job was it to find good songs for them? Did you have a formula for looking for them? Did you feel pressure having to come up with them? I would think that would be a tough part of the job. Could you ever turn your mind off from it?  And after you got the songs and before you recorded them, how much time did it take you you to get the breaks and backup you wanted to do on it?
thanks,
Ken

Edited by - From Greylock to Bean Blossom on 02/06/2019 18:19:12

Feb 7, 2019 - 1:53:34 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Well, to begin with, I read the book..or I guess I should say, I read part of it. Jimmy was a fine rhythm Guitar player...up until he recorded Uncle Penn with Bill Monroe. The song has a break in the Chorus and the Guitar does the famous G run. After that, he considered the Lester Flatt, Charlie Monroe "G run" his own creation, and it really had an affect on him as a person, and Guitar player. However, he read his press clippings (and believed them) It took until approximately 1955 for it to do it's damage. Jimmy had charisma and that in itself will go a long way, but in time your actions on and oof stage can wear that down and will take it's toll. Jimmy drank far too much alcohol and when he did the chip on his shoulder became a log. It had a terrible effect on his personality.

Jimmy, Bobby and I stopped working together in August of 55. I've written far too much on this subject. The book you read is pretty much spot on correct.

One other observation, in closing...whew!

Jimmy had an obsession with The Grand Ole Opry and blamed everyone, Bill, Lester and Earl, Osborne and McReynolds brothers for keeping him off...in reality no one was able to do that. He did it all by himself!

If The Opry wanted you, they got you.

I could go on, but it would take another book to tell all. It's a shame too because...IN MY OPINION Jimmy was so talented, vocally as well as the Guitar. He did well in his career, but he could have tripled what he did. And, you're right, He was his own worst enemy.

Apologize for taking up so much space.

s

Feb 7, 2019 - 2:01:50 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Dereck, remember one thing. When you play backup you should have one thing on your mind and one thing only. Always try to enhance and support the guy at the Mic doing the vocal, or taking a break. Never get in the way or take away from what he/she is doing.

Your time to shine comes when it's your turn in front.

s

Feb 7, 2019 - 2:38:51 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Ken:

From 1963 until 68 Teddy Wilburn chose most of our material. He was a genius at doing that too. Bobby and Pete Goble wrote many of our songs, Daryl Statler, Betty Sue Perry and Jake Landers wrote several songs during that time period. After 1968 Boudleaux and Felice Bryant and Paul Craft supplied us with some great songs. We had an excellent Record Company (Decca-MCA) who was sold on us, and therefore promoted us beyond belief.  All this plus the greatest producer of all time, Owen Bradley who allowed us to learn from him and do experimental things that no other Company would do. It worked for us..Thank you Lord!

The pressure was always there to continue with the quality of material and always try and do one thing better in the next release.

Most of the things I did on the Banjo were created in the studio...BRADLEY'S BARN. I can't tell you how Bobby did his thing on the Mandolin. If he asked me I would give him my opinion but the his vocal and Mandolin was his responsibility. He had as much confidence in my ability, as I did with him. I wasn't a Mandolin player, nor was I the great singer and he didn't play much Banjo. 

I hope this answers your questions. I'm always happy to give it me best shot. Sometimes get a little mouthy! Is that a word?

s

Feb 7, 2019 - 2:42:14 PM

2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Sorry Josh...the Jimmy Martin response was for you.

indecisionangryblush

s

Feb 7, 2019 - 3:08:55 PM

1191 posts since 4/8/2004

hi sonny, my 1st time on this thread. i would like to thank you and bobby for what you have done for the music. you have raised the bar and made many of us work our tails off just to get as close to the 'osborn' sound as we could. also, my being a banjo player, you, jd, and earl have brought me much happiness, and much hair pulling and anxiety. (how in the hell did they do that?!?!?!) anyway, as you touched on jimmy earlier, have you had a chance to read barbera's book? i skimmed thru it to get some highlights, then read it cover to cover, its on my bookshelf collecting dust, where it will stay, much more info about stuff i could care less about!
miss you and bobby together, and your banjo playing, but, i have many of your records, didnt mean to write a novel, but this was a long time coming, thanks for the music!!
larry

Feb 7, 2019 - 3:10:50 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

A thought about Jimmy Martin's Guitar playing.

If you want to hear how good he was, go listen to Dana Cupp play rhythm. Or if you play the Banjo, have him play it with you. He worked with Jim and he learned to play rhythm from Jimmy. Pretty darn close to what Jimmy was and could have been..."CAN I SAY THIS"...Frog Martin was good, Dana is good....real good!

s

Edited by - TheChief on 02/07/2019 15:14:29

Feb 7, 2019 - 3:21:27 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Miss Barbara Martin is another story!!!

I didn't read her book, nor will I...I know all I need to know about the kind of person James Herman Martin was.

Good to hear from you Larry. Don't stay away so long!!!!

s

Feb 7, 2019 - 3:32:10 PM
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chuckv97

Canada

55545 posts since 10/5/2013

I unfortunately bought Miss Barbara’s book,, wish I hadn’t. There’s stuff that shouldn’t be aired out for everyone to see or hear. (But at least she didn’t say anything bad about Windsor and CKLW.....! ). ;-/

Feb 7, 2019 - 3:45:14 PM
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5873 posts since 10/13/2007

I read Barbara Martin's book and she came across as a self aggrandizing gold digger who was not creditable.
Ken

Feb 7, 2019 - 4:07:58 PM
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5873 posts since 10/13/2007

Sonny,
Thanks for your reply to my question. It is great to get insight into a very unusual industry.
ken

Edited by - From Greylock to Bean Blossom on 02/07/2019 16:09:43

Feb 8, 2019 - 5:31:06 AM

563 posts since 8/10/2009

Hey Sonny,

Do you remember a performer named Chuck Henderson “The Carolina Indian” from the Knoxville, Tennessee area? He was playing banjo with Jack Shelton and the Green County Boys at WROL in 1952 and then went with Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper to Wheeling, West Virginia in 1953. In the mid-50’s he was back in east Tennessee, working with Bonnie Lou & Buster in Bristol, and then Johnson City. By 1958 he was playing banjo for Carl Story up in Monticello, Kentucky. He seems to drop off the map after that, and I wonder what happened to him. Thanks for any memories you might share!

Joe Spann

Feb 8, 2019 - 6:04:25 AM

jrimes

USA

36 posts since 4/28/2010

Dr. Chief,
My sincerest thanks, as always, for answering my questions. As I said before, you are our direct link to history and I always appreciate your honesty!
As a side note, a few years ago, I wrote an article for Bluegrass Unlimited about Chris Warner. Being a jack-of-all-trades, Chris was in charge (at times) of keeping Jimmy's guitar in working order. I never knew it, but what I thought was his D-45 was actually a D-28 conversion, however Chris always said that Jimmy was a master with it when he wanted to be.
Thanks again,
Josh

Feb 8, 2019 - 7:56:39 AM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Speaking of books and authors. There are those who write books for the love of the subject on which they are writing, and those who couldn't care less...caring only for the greenback dollar.  Doing it right of course, takes quite a lot of hard work such as doing countless interviews, costly trips to and from, countless hours of research...all this to get it right. Sometimes a hard thing to do.

My opinion is, if you're going to write a book then by all means tell the whole story truthfully and if it makes you, the author appear as one of the bad guys, then if you can't or don't want to take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

s

  

Feb 8, 2019 - 8:07:48 AM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

I've been doing this Hangout thing for quite a long time. I enjoy doing it. I enjoy talking with all of you. Being as honest to the best of my ability and knowledge is a big thing for me. My Dad taught me that if you tell the truth it won't ever change. 

It is what it is.

s

Feb 8, 2019 - 8:24:24 AM
Players Union Member

rbfour5

USA

1084 posts since 11/9/2010

Amen on the honesty!

Feb 8, 2019 - 8:38:14 PM

2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Amen

Feb 9, 2019 - 4:57:22 PM
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2996 posts since 3/6/2005

Me and Derek Vaden. Larry Stephenson Band

Right....Osborne Brothers 1969..Me, Bobby, Robby, Ronnie Reno, Dale Sledd

Bottom....Osborne Brothers 2003-05...Tim Graves, Daryl Mosely, Bobby, Dana Cupp, Me 




 

Edited by - TheChief on 02/09/2019 17:05:27

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