Eddie Stubbs has an interview scheduled on WSM tonight (7/28) that should be appointment radio for anyone who appreciates bluegrass history, or has a fascination with the music of The Osborne Brothers. Or anyone who simply enjoys good radio.
From 8:00-10:00 p.m. (CDT), Eddie will speak with Sonny and Bobby Osborne, as they prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their joining the Grand Ole Opry. They were inducted as members on August 8, 1964 at a time when their music was being played consistently on country radio, just a few years prior to the Rocky Top explosion.
Since Sonny retired in 2005, he and Bobby have not appeared together frequently. Both are talented storytellers, and Sonny is noted for his penchant to tell the truth when diplomacy might better serve, so one never knows what will come up during their discussion this evening.
Performing together since 1956, The Osborne Brothers are often viewed as part of the second generation of bluegrass pioneers, though they started just ten years after Bill Monroe debuted his “original bluegrass band” with Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise and Cedric Rainwater. They certainly presented a younger and more contemporary look and sound, especially in the 1960s when they introduced drums and electrified instruments to their stage show.
The Osborne Brothers remained active until Sonny’s retirement, which followed a shoulder ailment that precluded him playing banjo any longer. Bobby continues on to this day with his own group, the Rocky Top X-Press. Both had spent some time performing bluegrass separately before ’56, with Sonny doing a stint with Bill Monroe while still a young teen, and Bobby working with a number of groups before going into the Army in 1952. Upon his return, he and Sonny worked with Jimmy Martin in ’54, before branching out on their own.
WSM broadcasts from Nashville at 650 AM. Their signal reaches a large portion of the central US. Outside their broadcast area, you can listen live online at wsmonline.com.
This is one for the archives, folks.