Nicely Chief, it’s exhausting to consider, however that is Ask Sonny #99. Subsequent week will mark the a hundredth column since we started this little journey almost two years in the past. I believe congratulations are so as, so to everybody studying this, make sure you ship in a private be aware to Sonny subsequent week for the massive milestone article.
Sonny, I’ve all the time a giant fan of you and Bobby, and I miss you collectively on stage. I look ahead to Bobby returning to touring when the pandemic is behind us. As for my query, I wasn’t stunned that George Morgan was good to him. We knew Jimmy C. Newman, and he talked about how Morgan put him comfy when he was nervous about becoming a member of the Opry. I used to be disenchanted in Billy Grammer, however I questioned if Grammer may need thought it was humorous as a result of Morgan had the status for being a significant sensible joker. So I questioned if George ever “bought” the Osbornes, or if there have been different sensible jokes or jokers across the Opry he want to inform us about. I had a good friend who was a drummer in a bluegrass band (uncommon, to say the least), and he instructed me, sure, they bought him for the “plug-in” price.
Michael. thanks for becoming a member of us and sharing your time with us. I respect that.
I believe you misinterpret what I had written about George Morgan, Hank Williams Sr and Jack Anglin. Once I went to the Opry as a 14 yr outdated know-nothing child, these three have been the one ones who handled me like a human. These three individuals would speak to me and I used to be ignored by everybody else. That was in 1952, and if you happen to transfer forward 12 years once we, The Osborne Brothers, grew to become members of the Grand Ole Opry, George and Jimmy C Newman have been two of our strongest supporters, amongst others after all. Jimmy C even instructed me on a number of events, that he went to the top honchos of the Opry and instructed them that we might be glorious members of the Opry. I’m unsure I consider that however it may need occurred. However in our case, the Wilburn Brothers have been our strongest supporters.
George was the sensible joker on the Opry, however the Willis Brothers have been near the highest in that class. As soon as they caught Grandpa Jones sleeping between the primary and second present, and so they proceeded to tape Grandpa loud night breathing. They even went as far as to jot down a track, and taped it and circulated it all through the Opry. Nearly everybody bought a replica of the Willis Brothers singing … and Grandpa loud night breathing … on the finish of every line. Grandpa Jones was not glad.
George Morgan had successful along with his Grand Ole Opry Ugly Listing, in that each week he posted on the bulletin board the highest ten ugliest individuals on the Opry. This record included a number of the largest names, similar to Roy Acuff, Invoice Monroe, me, and all people else on the Opry was honest sport, and all needed to be on George’s Ugly Listing. As a matter of reality, I went as far as to pay George $5 to be #1, which was an ideal honor. However the highest I ever bought was #2. And after I complained to George, he bought me by the arm and led me out to the stage the place this outdated boy was taking part in drums and he mentioned, “I need you to have a look at this man and inform me if you happen to nonetheless need to be #1 … forward of HIM.” I instantly gave in.
George was one of many funniest, and most beloved, individuals on the Opry, and the story about Billy Grammer is true and I’m satisfied that it was meant to make enjoyable of and harm George due to his eye downside. I say this as a result of I used to be sitting proper beside him when it occurred and it did harm George Morgan’s emotions terribly.
I can’t start to inform you how a lot I’ve been having fun with this column. It’s absolutely the spotlight of my week. Your wit, life expertise and…hahum… “angle” are such a treasure. So to my query – You and Bobby have all the time been revered as defining a part of the core sound of bluegrass as we all know it. The Osborne Brothers have all the time been atop the record for followers of conventional bluegrass…however how did these followers react if you started incorporating electrical devices and extra importantly, how did you reply to them?
All of us perceive the significance of with the ability to pay the payments, and typically that requires a shift in musical route, however how did you pull it off with out dropping your die-hard bluegrass followers, AND do you suppose you had a internet achieve of followers consequently?
Walter, thanks for giving us a couple of minutes of your time. We, the brothers, selected to include country-sounding devices similar to piano, metal, electrical guitar and drums. We did this for one motive, and that was to get our information performed extra on nation music stations. The entire thing is just too difficult to enter right here, however I’ll suffice it to say that in our case it labored fantastically. Extra performs on nation stations meant extra reputation, which meant extra dates, which meant more cash to purchase farms and put youngsters by faculty. We did lose quite a lot of our conventional Bluegrass fan base, however then then again we gained 4 or 5 occasions what we misplaced and that put us forward “by a rustic mile.” You requested how we pulled it off and that was fairly easy, as a result of for essentially the most half, we nonetheless had the good trio with Benny Birchfield and Dale Sledd, and we by no means laid our bluegrass devices down, so in impact we grew to become sort-of certainly one of a sort and it labored nicely sufficient that we gained the CMA Vocal Group of the Yr and Bluegrass Band of the Yr (the latter, 9 years in a row 1970-1979).
G’day Sonny, Such as you, I get pleasure from Tone Tuesday… three glorious musicians. Lincoln performs varied banjos from week to week however why does his Chief have completely different steel finishes? Nonetheless sounds good, and naturally Earl’s was that approach too, however not in such an apparent approach. Cheers to you.
Andy, I’m unsure I perceive what your query is. True, Lincoln performed varied banjos however I wasn’t conscious that he performed a Chief. I’m conscious that he performed a number of completely different Krako banjos that may have had completely different steel finishes. I don’t actually know what you imply by, “Earl’s was that approach too however not in such an apparent approach.” Earl’s steel was modified from gold to nickel as a result of Earl modified it. To my data, Lincoln solely performed a number of completely different Krako banjos and a gold-plated 1966 Vega that I performed on Roll Muddy River. I don’t suppose I answered your query as a result of I by no means understood it.
I’ve heard that the Earl performed a RB-3 on the final Mercury and first Columbia session whereas his Granada was being repaired. The place is the three? Do you’ve gotten any perception?
Jon, welcome to our little free-for-all and I thanks and respect your time.
Earl and I have been fairly shut and he by no means talked about that he had performed an RB-3 aside from Joe Drumright’s wreath sample 3 on a Purple Foley recording of Polka On A Banjo, and it was kinda bizarre as a result of I had used that very same banjo on a few of our later MGM recordings. Beings I by no means knew a few 3, so I don’t have any perception as to the place it’s now, or even when it ever existed as a result of he by no means talked about it to me in any of the numerous conversations I had with Mr Scruggs. If anyone studying this, has any additional absolute data that this banjo ever existed, please write in and inform me.
Thanks, and I look ahead to #100 subsequent week.
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