Bobby Osborne – Memories

Rural Rhythm has released a very special project for Bobby Osborne, commemorating his 60th year as a bluegrass performer.

Memories: Celebrating Bobby’s 60th Anniversary as a Professional Entertainer features 14 new recordings of both new songs and classics from the Osborne repertoire. Old favorites like Ruby, Rocky Top, With A Pain In My Heart, and Up This Hill And Down share space with new compositions, all performed by Bobby’s road band Rocky Top X-Press, and several special guests.

Patty Loveless, Russell Moore and Audie Blaylock take turns singing with Osborne, and guest pickers Sammy Shelor, David Grisman, David Harvey, and Ronnie McCoury get their moment as well.

We had a chance to chat briefly with Bobby, and get his take on doing a 60 year retrospective album.

“I took a lot of time to make the decision – and hopefully the right one – to record this CD.

My chief engineer and co-producers Bobby Osborne Jr. (my son), Glen Duncan and myself mulled over many ideas before finally Glen said to me, ‘Do you realize you’ve been singing 60 years?’ I said to him, ‘No… I  hadn’t given it any thought.’ He said, ‘Well, you have.’ So that was the starting point.”

Bobby said that the deal had already been struck with Rural Rhythm for another project, and he decided to go with this concept.

“Bobby Jr. had been trying to get me to go back to the sound I had been a part of years ago, with country mixed in with our bluegrass. This was the new beginning I was looking for, so Glen, Bobby Jr. and myself decided to do it and give Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top X-Press a different sound than ever before. I still feature that Osborne style harmony, though, with Bobby Jr and Daryl Mosely.

We all decided on the other artists, and they did a wonderful job on the CD. I couldn’t ask for better with Ronnie McCoury, David Grisman, David Harvey, Russell Moore, Sammy Shelor and Audie Blaylock.

I had written the song Memories and Patty Loveless was a absolute work of art with me on that one.”

Here’s an audio sample with snippets from the first six tracks (Mountain Fever, Bring Back Yesterday, Ruby, Memories, With A Pain In My Heart and Rocky Top).

Memories sampler: []

Osborne said that there was no way he could do a 60th anniversary album without revisiting some of his classic hits.

“I had to do some songs that made me what I am today. Rocky Top, Ruby and Up This Hill And Down fit that sound real well. These were new cuts, of course, with my own band members Tim Graves on dobro, Mike Toppins on banjo, and of course one of the greatest Glen Duncan on fiddle.”

You can hear samples from each track in iTunes.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.