Bobby Osborne track premiere – They Call The Wind Maria

It’s not every day that show tunes get a bluegrass reading, especially from music royalty like Bobby Osborne. But this is a special day, and we’re honored to present the track premiere of Bobby’s version of They Call The Wind Maria from his upcoming Compass Records album, Original.

Compass has brought together some of the biggest names in bluegrass for this special recording, putting Bobby in the studio with fellow luminaries like Dale Ann Bradley, Del McCoury, Michael Cleveland, Claire Lynch, and Vince Gill. All were eager to participate in this all-star project, but the focus remains on Bobby, his mandolin playing, and his singing.

After more than 65 years working in bluegrass, it’s clear that Osborne still has plenty of gas in the tank, and Original looks to be quite a statement to punctuate his long career.

The album won’t hit until June 2, but Bobby and Compass wanted to share this track with bluegrass fans in advance. He’s assisted by Sierra Hull on mandolin, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Alison Brown on banjo, Trey Hensley on guitar, and Todd Phillips on bass. Jim Lauderdale and David Mayfield sang harmony. Broadway buffs will recognize the song from the Western-themed musical, Paint Your Wagon, that first hit the stage in 1951. It was written by the legendary duo, Lerner & Lowe, and became a hit song from both the New York and London stage shows, and the 1969 movie adaptation.


Bobby’s isn’t actually the first bluegrass cut of this song. The Country Gentlemen released it on a single in 1972, and included the track on their ’74 LP, Yesterday & Today, Volume 3. And it found its way into a number of singers’ repertoire during the ’60s folk scare, but I don’t recall ever hearing it with this much spunk before. Well done Bobby O!

The single for They Call The Wind Maria will be serviced to bluegrass radio next week, so expect to start hearing a lot of it real soon. Orders for Original can be placed now from the Grand Ole Opry store, directly from Compass, or from popular digital download sites.

It’s a good’n!

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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.