Sonny. I am aware you have viewed the entire post by Mr. Sharp. One thing Mr. sharp omitted here that he posted was "I love the Osborne Brothers. They are not really known for having good timing which is one of the qualities that every **great** rhythm guitar player I've ever encountered had." This is clearly an insult as he still maintains your music didn't have good timing and you didn't understand what the guitar should be doing. In his own words judging a rhythm guitar player was " not your forte" A clear insult to all those who have worked with you. I remain grateful for our 40 years of friendship and those great years of working with you. I speak here on behalf of myself and Lincoln.
Edited by - stringman711 on 03/21/2019 21:11:04
I can only hope that someday my timing will be as “bad”as yours Mr. Osborne. Ha ha. If I can get to the point to where I can pick as bad as you, I will be one hell of a banjo player. Thank you sir for all that you do for us here on the hang out.
Sonny - new to the forum and this thread. I’ve been a hack banjo player for almost 40 years now and while I rarely play these days, one thing I do is listen to bluegrass music. I download iTunes and play them in the car or working around home or our farm. I’ve always liked the Osborne Brothers, Bobby’s voice, your banjo playing. I have a goodly collection of the OB’s songs and one of the things I enjoy is listening to different aspects of the music, notation of the instrument, vocal tone, etc. I feel you and Bobby were so great at laying down your music with such quality and what I think deliberate delivery. Leads and back-up instrumentals are very well done; instruments aren’t playing over each other or the vocalist. Bobby’s lead voice and tenor are surpub. I have a lot of questions I’d like to ask from time to time if that’s OK. One question you answered many years ago at a festival (I think it was Jim Orange’s festival up near Harrisonburg or Charlottesville VA - can’t remember). I asked you what kind of banjo strings you used and you pullled a pack of strings out of your pocket and the label read “Sonny Osborne Banjo Strings” - LOL. Take care - Bill
I was "thumbing through" YouTube last night, and lo and behold this popped up!
1973/ with President Nixon/ Sonny and Bobby/ and Merle Haggard at the White House.
Edited by - dmiller on 03/25/2019 09:18:22
Sweet- thanks for sharing!
What a double feature! I guess there are some perks to being president. Sonny, any nerves before playing in front of a group like that? Did you and Haggard talk about anything before the concert? How was it meeting the folks after the music?
Edited by - From Greylock to Bean Blossom on 03/25/2019 17:50:09
the Osborne Brothers. They are not really known for having good timing which is one of the qualities that every **great** rhythm guitar player I've ever encountered had."
I HAVEN'T FORGOTTEN YOU MR. (FLAT PERFECT TIMING) SHARP.
Leeave96....ask as many and often as you want. I'll try to answer them.
Ken, I don't think Nixon had time to be nervous...he was too messed up with Watergate, which broke out in earnest about three weeks after this event.
OH, you mean were WE nervous....I gotta admit, yes...realizing where we came from and where we were...it's a long way from Thousand Sticks Kentucky to The White House. Nixon's family, Eisenhour's Grandson, Kissinger, ....the whole shooting match were the audience. We were given the grand tour and that place is awesome. They told us it was self contained and could exist for a number of years, if need be. I realize, it sounds as though I'm bragging, and I admit...I am....but it's out of being proud of being a red blooded American.
Merle was a little shook too. At one point during "Fighting Side of Me" he dropped his Guitar pick. Merle and I didn't discuss being there before or after. Nor do I think he discussed it with Bobby.
Nixon came to the Opry sometime later and Bob Ewbanks (NEWLY WED GAME)and I were standing backstage and as Nixon left had to pass rather close and he recognized me... he walked over and pointed at me and said.."Osborne, from Kentucky." Without doubt..I was the most surprised person in the house that night.
Still sounds like I'm bragging....sorry about that. I don't mean it to sound that way.
We were in a small room, with Nixon, after the music, in a receiving line. Everyone was very complimentary. I thought it rather funny, most of them, only because they felt it was their duty to do this, and probably most had never heard Bluegrass Music before. If that were the case...they would never be able to say that again.
I wonder, now, if they realized just how bad our timing was. What do you say MR. SHARP? Reckon they did?
Afterward, there was another room set up with a 30-50 foot table with every kind of food and champagne known to man. With which everyone in the house did partake.
Sonny, thank you for your answers. It is a great situation to be able to know and about and get some of the inside stuff on it. Hag dropping his pick.
If you don't mind, I have to weigh in on Mr. Sharp. First, I hope he does not spoil your enjoyment of coming to this site, because many of us really enjoy having you talk here. You have great talent and work ethic which has taken you to places of banjo and music thought, experience and abilities that so many of us here cannot even fathom and it is a treasure for us to see from your perspective. I mean, there are some serious love with the banjo with many here. I remember how lit up Ron Stewart got with a guy who was always putting Earl Scruggs down and after that experience, Ron has hardly been back.
A number of years ago I was in a meeting with some athletics administrators. They were my superiors on the organizational chart. In that meeting they started talking about Coach Bob Knight's weaknesses and they came to the consensus that he was not a very good game time on the court coach. And I am sitting there thinking, wow, these guys are not that good at their job, some were even poor at their job. How could they think they knew anywhere near as much as Knight on his job to judge him about it. I mean, if they knew that much why were they not making his salary and winning 3 NCAA titles and an Olympic gold medal? The sense I could make of it was that they had no awareness of their unawareness or their limitations. At that time I figured this was a good crowd for me to shut up around. I could be right as rain and they would have no clue.
Now I look at you and see you playing and recording with Mr. Bill Monroe himself at age 14? And I see you having two state songs and countless great records and a long career and some of the best playing ever (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXCd_DC7FCQ). Then I remind myself that we lived in a world where an intelligent citizenry and high ranking public officials crucified Jesus and I just have to conclude again, that some are not worth listening to no matter how they say their words.
Sorry to go on so long. Sometimes i cringe at my relationship to the old Waylon song about "why does there always have to be one in every crowd standing up and crying out loud and why does that one always have to turn out to be me.
I appreciate your response so much. I enjoy doing this and have for a very long time and will continue until Mr.Schlang tells me "no mas!" Overlook my "Spaniard" if that quote was wrong! I think that's what the Mexican guy said to Sugar Ray Leonard...
MR. Sharp and his "expert" opinion doesn't bother me one bit. Originally, it kinda got to me a bit when he criticized some of the finest musicians in the world, let alone the greatest record producer and the man who was mostly responsible for creating "The Nashville Sound!" Owen Bradley. He oversaw our sessions for Decca and allowed us to actually produce ourselves. He made a statement once that I thought rather funny. He said; "Leave them alone, we don't know what they're doing but obviously they do...they sell records." He possessed the keenest ear I was ever associated with. He was also a great piano player. A true genius. So...Chris Sharp's statement quoted above doesn't bother me. He's entitled to his opinion. But. my Dad always when I would get totally "tore right on up" (quote borrowed from Raymond E Huffmaster) about something someone had said.."Consider the source and forget about it!" Good advice.
Well, Sonny, opinions are like navels (or insert a body part of choice here); everyone's got one.
That is precisely the reason I always try to interject "In my opinion" in my sometimes ridiculous thoughts and statements. Unfortunately I forget to do that on occasion.
I don't ask anyone to agree with me...as I sometimes don't agree with any of you but I respect your opinion...and I only expect the same from you...collectively. It works both ways.
We're all just having a good time with each other. Even Mr. Sharp!I can see where it might sound as though there is anger involved but I assure you and all, there is none on my part. But...I still don't agree with him!!!!!!! HA.
I think when it comes to something as subjective as music, there is always room for differing opinions. But some opinions are more respectable than others...
Edited by - phb on 03/29/2019 07:31:15
In my way of thinking, there's another factor to take into consideration when talking about a group's or someone's playing style and/or timing: what were they going for? Is that a factor here? Unless one is in or was in on the discussions around the time the recordings were made and the decisions made as a result, the comments are just that comments. To me it would be better to ask questions about the why of such things rather than drop a comment without being informed. I'll go back to lurking now.....
IF ONE LURKS LONG,
HE MOST GENERALLY LURKS WRONG
Hi Sonny, if I may,, I’ve got a question : I saw you mention one time that when you were learning you kind of hit a wall,, then brother Bobby showed you the backward roll. Could you fill us in a bit more on that? Just curious, thnx. (Keep your stick on the ice)
Dr. O - I generally like to read the comments and think on what folks are saying. I try to keep my footprint on social media small; at least until I retire in a little over 3 years from now! By the way, these photos were taken at the Alamo shortly after I received this wonderful banjo from you way back on 2007.
Hi Sonny, I see where Jim Glaser passed away yesterday. What a great singer he was, and the harmony with his brothers was remarkable. The first time I saw you and Bobby was at the City Auditorium in Atlanta, in around 1966 and the Glaser Brothers were on the show. I remember talking with you back stage and all of the Glaser Brothers were cutting up with you guys. You all seem to have a fun time together. Another great singer and entertainer has left us.
I was 11, so that would have been somewhere in or near 1948 or perhaps 1949. Probably Christmas of 1948.
Bobby came home from Bluefield W. Va. where he was working with Larry Richardson. Bobby, Larry, Ray Morgan and Ezra Cline...who made up the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers. (Members of the IBMA Hall of Fame.)
Bobby had worked a couple dates with LESTER AND EARL and he was just as interested in the banjo as anything else. He heard me play and told me I was leaving out something. He didn't know what to call it, this was before rolls had names. He took the banjo and played a bit and I immediately knew what the problem was, and asked him to play that a few more times. I learned it and from that point my playing went in to high gear. The tune was Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms...the part where it goes; 3 2 1 5 1 2 3. Man, I could have jumped through the roof when he showed me that. Suddenly everything made sense. And, get this...that's the last thing anyone ever showed me. (That's not bragging. Folks, I just loved it so much, that's all I did, Go to school, plow, disc, or drag...and feed hogs, The rest of the time, I played the banjo.) LITERALLY! I loved it, more than anything. Trying to sleep with a banjo in the bed is not easy...and the times I wasn't playing it, I was thinking about it! What an exciting life I led, huh!
Edited by - TheChief on 04/08/2019 11:28:20
Hah... I can identify, Sonny. In my early 20’s is when I got the banjo-bug bad. All my spare time was spent practicing & listening to you & Earl & others.
Thanks for telling about that roll Bobby showed you. It’s a good one.
here’s a couple of spots where you used it in “Sure-Fire” :
Edited by - chuckv97 on 04/08/2019 11:39:46
Jim Glaser was a friend and great, clear, high tenor voice. He, Tom Paul, and Chuck had an unbeatable trio. They were good...REAL GOOD!
Sorry to learn of his passing from this life.
Joel...good to hear from you and thanks for reminding me of a day from the past. ..1966 was a long time ago..I remember that day in Atlanta. The Glasers were on the show and although we knew them from the Opry, it was the first time we had worked with them on the road. It was amazing how they worked the mic with their trio. I seem to remember they came to Nashville as members of Marty Robin's band and I assumed they learned to work the mic from Marty as he did it the same way.
Edited by - TheChief on 04/09/2019 08:25:28
hey Chuck...you got it figured out.
You have a good memory Sonny. That was a great show. You told me that night about Carlton’s Fincastle Festival that had been going on for a couple of years. You got me excited about going to the next one which was relocated to Berryville (1967), which ya’ll played at. By that time I had gotten a Vega Pro II banjo. You were so nice to take a 17 year old kid on the bus, critique his banjo and pick a tune for him. Thanks for your inspiration and kindness.
'Gibson Copy' 1 hr
'The Kesh Jig' 1 hr
'tuning methods ' 2 hrs
'Companion banjos' 2 hrs