Benny Birchfield stabbed

Benny Birchfield and Jean Shepard pose with a friend

Benny Birchfield, the singer of the third part in the Osborne Brothers’ band during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and 79-year-old widower of the recently-deceased country music singer Jean Shepard, was stabbed during an altercation that took place at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, during the early hours on Saturday, December 17, 2016.

Birchfield was taken to the hospital and has since undergone surgery. He is reported to be improving.

However, the couple’s 18-year-old granddaughter, Icie Hawkins, was found dead inside, along with 21-year-old Travis Sanders, who died from a gunshot wound. Hawkins lived with her grandfather and she and Sanders were acquainted.

Authorities say that this was an isolated incident.

Birchfield worked with the Osborne Brothers, most notably, and with Moore and Napier, and Jim McCall.

He joined the Osborne Brothers in the fall of 1959, initially playing bass and, occasionally, twin banjo. He switched to guitar in 1962. As well as making excellent contributions to the group’s trio performances on stage, he participated in their last recording session for MGM Records, from January 9th to 11th, 1963.

Birchfield was a bus driver and friend to the iconic pop singer Roy Orbison.

Share this:

About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.