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I Ordered The Osborne Chief (Part 8)

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Apr 9, 2019 - 1:45:18 PM

RayD

USA

435 posts since 3/14/2006

Dr. Osborne,

You commented a while back that after Bobby showed you that one lick that made things "click" for you that you never needed anyone to show you again. My questions: When you heard something did you see in your mind how the notes were on the banjo? Was is more of an aural thing for you?

Apr 10, 2019 - 8:11:43 AM
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2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Ray;

After Bobby showed me the backward roll, it made the timing to everything work.

  For that time, 11 years old, the main thing it did was make the notes all fit together. Later, after my playing began to move forward it became very easy because I could see in my mind where certain rolls...forward and/or backward would make the timing fit together....end when it should, if you will.  If I played only forward it would be a couple notes too many and backward too few. I'm not saying it would be like this for everyone, but that's about how it worked for me. I'm not sure I explained that very well,  but when the next rocket goes up you won't find me in the control tower.!!!!indecision

s  

Apr 10, 2019 - 8:16:37 AM

2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Joel:

I seem to remember The Wilburn Brothers and Ray Price on that show too. Right? Wrong?

s

Apr 10, 2019 - 9:59:15 AM

RayD

USA

435 posts since 3/14/2006

Dr. Osborne,

I think I get what you're saying. For you, since you had heard and practiced these things, you internalized how things went in terms of number of notes in a roll. When you saw someone play the transition from one to the other the "Aha!" moment occurred. Back then it was a matter of hearing, playing, internalizing and hearing how it all fit. Since the advent of tablature too many of us have to "see" the notes on paper because we haven't internalized the notes from hearing as well as you and others had to in the "early days". Is that about it? For me, then, the take-away is to practice the rolls then listen to how the notes fit in a roll and then listen for how things are strung together for the melody and backup. The key: Listen!

Apr 10, 2019 - 2:33:37 PM
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207 posts since 3/29/2018

Hi Sonny...Long time fan here. I was browsing online banjo videos and I came across this gem. youtube.com/watch?v=LscE2FcQw6s
Don't Let Smokey Mountain Smoke Get in Your Eyes
This along with Banjo Medley, and years of listening banjo, helped inspire me to learn to play myself.
I think this video illustrates the joy of the banjo and bluegrass music in general.
I swear I hear Bobby say "scare-a-kee" because of the video camera..haha, then the Reuben detour...so fun and whimsical.
Thank you, Sir...You help make the world a brighter place.

Apr 10, 2019 - 4:05:52 PM
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150 posts since 4/22/2006

Sonny, The Osborne Bros. and The Glaser Bros. were the only two groups I remember playing that night. Of course my memory may not be clear on that. It was a Friday or Saturday night show that probably started around 8:00. I can’t be 100%, but I believe Dale was on guitar and probably Ronnie Blackwell was playing bass. It was a fantastic show. I would like to be able to turn the clock back and go to it again!

Apr 11, 2019 - 4:05:15 PM

207 posts since 3/29/2018

WOW...you were there!?....that's so amazing and inspiring, I wish I could join you on your memory time machine detour

Edited by - Astrobanjo on 04/11/2019 16:06:46

Apr 11, 2019 - 4:36:46 PM
Players Union Member

miket

USA

324 posts since 8/21/2003

I just have to pop out of the quiet corner to say how much I'm loving this long-lived conversation. My first "real" banjo was 206MP6E and while I've bought a couple of other great and unique instruments over the years I still play my Chief with joy almost every night. Thanks, Mr. Osborne, for hanging out with us and sharing your thoughts.

Apr 12, 2019 - 11:35:56 AM

2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Hey Mike, pop out anytime you have the urge.  Only thing, next time and all after that you don't need to bring that Mister stuff with you.  We're all kinda on a first name basis here.

Mr. Osborne was my Dad....someone once said!wink

So, you still have the engraved Chief I understand. Greg Rich did the engraving on those banjos. Originally there were 23 of them.

Incidentally, that was Greg's idea. If believe he said anyone who bought a new Chief between a certain amount of time...maybe a month...he would engrave it free. They are beautiful, aren't they...In your case, I guess I should have said IT is beautiful...right? Thank you Mike. Join in anytime.

Apr 12, 2019 - 11:41:41 AM

2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Astrobanjo...you're a kind man to say such good things. Especially in this time of so much chaos in our world. 

Thank you. I appreciate it more than you know.

s

Apr 12, 2019 - 11:45:21 AM

5 posts since 3/22/2019

Sonny - are these Chief banjos still available?

Apr 12, 2019 - 11:51:13 AM
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2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Joel Aderhold, you're a good friend. You know what. The Wilburn Brothers and Ray Price and The Cherokee Cowboys were actually on that show.  The Glasers and Osbornes were there too. The late Dale Sledd and Ronnie Blackwell were our band. Both are gone now, you know?

I seem to also remember you coming to our show in the 60's I believe. We talked and I don't remember the place. Can't outrun Mother Nature and Father Time.

s

Edited by - TheChief on 04/12/2019 11:53:48

Apr 12, 2019 - 11:59:04 AM

chuckv97

Canada

42657 posts since 10/5/2013

Sonny, your memory is awesome, to remember all the different happenings in the past,, esp. with all the people you’ve met over the years. I was amazed you remembered the Vancouver gig in ~1979 , that you fellas went for Chinese food before the show. With a memory like that, it must have helped you play the music. I read where you once thought out what you were going to play on “Up This Hill and Down” while driving to the studio.

Apr 12, 2019 - 12:05:38 PM
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2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Hey Leeave96...

The Chief is still available....Maple, Mahogany, or Walnut. Blaylock tone ring, Hard Maple rim, Frank Neat neck, Rick Neat inlay. Frank and Ricky set up and assembly. Your choice inlay pattern. Wreath, Flying Eagle, or Hearts and Flowers. Gold or Nickel hardware. 

My Email address is;Chiefbanjo@comcast .net

Be happy for you to have one, or two!devil

s

Apr 12, 2019 - 12:17:47 PM
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2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Chuck, I think I told you that was my first Chinese Food. 

Up This Hill and Down, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Tennessee Hound Dog...On the way from Hendersonville to Mt. Juliet...by way of Gallatin! 

Thankfully, I am blessed with a good long term memory. It did have an effect on my banjo playing at the time. Some other things I'm rather lax on, but I don't forget them...!!!!!

s

Apr 13, 2019 - 3:16:34 PM
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300 posts since 4/4/2005

I haven't posted on here in quite a while, so I thought I would give an update on my Chief banjo. I picked mine up from Sonny in October of 2003. My how time has passed. Mine is the first mahogany banjo that he had made. I have played this banjo alot over the years. It is my primary banjo. It has settled in so well over the years. I would put it up against most prewar banjos out there. If anyone is "on the fence" about getting a Chief, get off the fence and get one while you still can. Frank and Ricky Neat do a great job making banjos and their setup is as good as anyone. These banjos are the best being produced and the price can't be beat for what you get.


Keep up the great work Sonny!

Mickey Flatt

Apr 14, 2019 - 4:12:54 PM

2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Well, thank you Mickey for the unsolicited advertisement.

s

Apr 14, 2019 - 6:48:51 PM

150 posts since 4/22/2006

Thanks Sonny, I had heard of Dale Sledd’s passing, but not Ronnie Blackwell. As has been discussed previously Dale was a great rhythm player, parts singer, and lead singer when called on. And Ronnie did a fine job on the bass.

On the old MGM recordings, there was a tic tac Johnny Cash rhythm going on, particularly noticeable on tracks like Each Season Changes You, (One of my favorites of all your records).
Was that an electric guitar? Was it recorded live with the singing or dubbed in later? Thanks

Apr 15, 2019 - 9:57:34 AM

244 posts since 8/10/2006

I echo your comments Micky.  I have Mahogany number 3 and it just keeps getting better and better.  I recently put a new head on mine; the original had finally given up the ghost as it split.  I cannot say enough good things about these banjos.  My only hope is to one day be able to add a maple version, simply out of want of course, not need.   Yes, they are indeed THAT good and a great value as you've mentioned.
 
quote:
Originally posted by mahogchief01

I haven't posted on here in quite a while, so I thought I would give an update on my Chief banjo. I picked mine up from Sonny in October of 2003. My how time has passed. Mine is the first mahogany banjo that he had made. I have played this banjo alot over the years. It is my primary banjo. It has settled in so well over the years. I would put it up against most prewar banjos out there. If anyone is "on the fence" about getting a Chief, get off the fence and get one while you still can. Frank and Ricky Neat do a great job making banjos and their setup is as good as anyone. These banjos are the best being produced and the price can't be beat for what you get.


Keep up the great work Sonny!

Mickey Flatt


Apr 15, 2019 - 2:51:05 PM

Hawk54

Australia

756 posts since 2/9/2007

I have owned many banjos ,so I am very familiar with most of the various brands .I only have one banjo now ,a maple 2005 Osborne chief .without doubt ,the only banjo I will ever need ,and by far the easiest playing and best sounding banjo I have ever owned .those who have played it ,have wanted to buy it .thanks sonny

Apr 21, 2019 - 10:28:34 AM

2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Thank you guys.

The Chief is a good banjo. All American I might add.

May 8, 2019 - 10:05:07 AM

5186 posts since 10/13/2007

Sonny,
I don't know if you want to get into this or not, but do you have any tone ring that you prefer over all others? Hope your summer is starting great.
ken

May 8, 2019 - 1:05:23 PM

chuckv97

Canada

42657 posts since 10/5/2013

Hi Sonny,, some nostalgia on my part here - I bought your Mel Bay instruction book in the late ‘60’s, even before Earl’s. I lost the original over the years, so bought the new “refurbished” model a few years ago.  Red Wing is one I tried & helped get me going on the banjo. It’s played often at local jams around here, - I always think of your book when we play it. Who on the recording played double banjo with you? And then the second break you went on your own, doing that “Osborne roll” on part of it. (I bought it from iTunes). Love it!

Edited by - chuckv97 on 05/08/2019 13:07:25

May 9, 2019 - 6:15 AM

jrimes

USA

31 posts since 4/28/2010

Hey Sonny,
I just finished reading the "Dixie Dewdrop" the Uncle Dave Macon story. It was hard to put down. What an extraordinary man! Did you ever meet him? Or did you ever meet any of the Opry old timers such as the Crook Brothers, DeFord Bailey, or Sam and Kirk McGee? If so, what were they like?
Many thanks as always!!
Josh

May 14, 2019 - 11:25:54 AM
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2979 posts since 3/6/2005

Chuck in Alberta;

Benny Birchfield played the lead banjo and I played harmony on the MGM recording of Red Wing. Great tune to play, if you play it right. It's a bit harder than it seems. Tricky.  Played in G, the part that goes to C is: Middle, Index, Thumb, Middle, Thumb. Noted....1st on 2, 2nd on 1, 3rd o, 1st on 2, 5th o. 

s

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