Rocky Top anniversary at The Ryman

Bobby Osborne and Daniel Grindstaff backstage at The RymanWe received a note yesterday from Daniel Grindstaff, banjo player with Marty Raybon. He had a very special opportunity come his way just after Christmas and wanted to share the story with everyone here on Bluegrass Today.

Bobby Osborne was scheduled to play on The Grand Ole Opry this past weekend, coinciding with the 41st anniversary of Rocky Top, which was released on December 25, 1967. Bobby’s regular banjo man, Dana Cupp, was unavailable for the show, so Daniel got the call.

“Having filled in and worked with Sonny and Bobby numerous times in the past I always jump at the chance to play that music again. After I spoke to Bobby about doing the show, Sonny got in touch with me on Friday morning (12/26). He asked if I would like to play his RB-3, the banjo that was used on the original recording of Rocky Top and numerous other Osborne Brothers songs.

I, of course, said that I would love to!

The end result of the evening was me getting to perform on the stage of the Opry at The Ryman, during the anniversary of Rocky Top, playing the banjo that recorded it, beside the man who sang it!

What a Christmas gift! A very high point in my career! What a great banjo and a great moment!”

The audio from that Opry show should show up soon in the WSM online archives.

Daniel tells us that the new Marty Raybon CD, This That and the Other, is due for release in January ’09, and that they will begin touring in support when they return from a Caribbean cruise with Rhonda Vincent in early February.

Tough duty…

The Marty Raybon schedule can be found on his web site, and samples from Daniel’s fine solo CD, April Fool, can be heard at CD Baby.

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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.