Bobby Osborne

Real Name:
Robert Van Osborne, Jr.
Profile:
American bluegrass musician known for his mandolin playing and high lead vocals. Bobby Osborne is known primarily for his collaborations with his brother Sonny Osborne in their band The Osborne Brothers.He was born December 7, 1931 in Hyden, Kentucky. Bobby Osborne has become an acknowledged master of the bluegrass mandolin and his high lead singing. Began his professional music career around 1947 at WPFB in Middletown with a group he called the Miami Valley Playboys. He was singing in the Ernest Tubb style and playing electric guitar. He met Galax, Virginia-born banjo player Larry Richardson at WPFB, and soon the two of them left for West Virginia to seek fame and fortune. They played on radio in Welch, West Virginia as the Silver Saddle Boys and later worked with Rex and Eleanor Parker in Bluefield, West Virginia, eventually landing a job with the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers. They cut four sides on Cozy Records, with “Pain In My Heart” becoming a bluegrass classic. This record received a lot of radio airplay in Dayton. After Larry Richardson left, Jimmy Martin and Bobby cut four sides for King Records in Cincinnati, backed by the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers, but issued as by Jimmy Martin and Bob Osborne. It was at this time that Bobby began playing mandolin, because Jimmy wanted to be the guitar player. At roughly the same time, Bobby, Sonny, and Louise Osborne and possibly Jimmy Martin cut four issued Kitty sides for Ott Ginter at the Osborne farm house. Bobby recorded some of the Gateway and Kentucky sides with Sonny during and after his Marine Corps duty which took him to Korea, where he received a Purple Heart when he was wounded in action. Later he and Sonny got together with Jimmy Martin and worked at WPFB and at WJR in Detroit as Jimmy Martin and the Osborne Brothers, and recorded six songs for RCA Victor. After splitting with Jimmy, Bobby and Sonny and Red Allen secured an MGM Records contract. Their “Once More” was the first song to feature their newly invented high-lead style of trio harmony. “Ruby,” with its sustained high note on the title word, was Bobby’s signature song until “Rocky Top” came along in 1967. After Red Allen departed, Bobby and Sonny worked together as the Osborne Brothers, recording with MGM, then Decca (MCA), CMH, Sugar Hill, and Pinecastle. He and Sonny were inducted into the IBMA Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1994, and he was inducted a second time in 2009 as a member of the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers. He and Sonny were in the first class of inductees into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2002. After Sonny’s retirement from the road in 2007, Bobby continued on as Bobby Osborne and the Rocky Top Express (later the Rocky Top X-Press), recording for OMS, Rural Rhythm, and Rounder. He also is a faculty member at the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music in Hyden, Kentucky—part of the Hazard Community and Technical College.

For the Texas songwriter of "Going Back To Louisiana", see Bobby Osborn.
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Albums

ACD-35 Bobby Osborne - Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza album art Sam Bush / David Grisman / Ronnie McCoury / Jesse McReynolds / Bobby Osborne / Ricky Skaggs / Frank Wakefield / Buck White With Del McCoury Sam Bush / David Grisman / Ronnie McCoury / Jesse McReynolds / Bobby Osborne / Ricky Skaggs / Frank Wakefield / Buck White With Del McCoury - Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza(2xHDCD, Album, Sli) Acoustic Disc ACD-35 US 1999 Sell This Version
OMS-25050-2 Bobby Osborne - The Selfishness In Man album art Bobby Osborne The Selfishness In Man(HDCD, Album) OMS Records (3) OMS-25050-2 US 2000 Sell This Version
PRC 1107 Bobby Osborne - Masters Of The Mandolin album art Bobby* & Jesse* Bobby* & Jesse* - Masters Of The Mandolin(CD, Album) Pinecastle Records PRC 1107 US 2001 Sell This Version
OMS-25130 Bobby Osborne - Where I Come From album art Bobby Osborne Where I Come From(CD, Album) Original Music Showcase, Inc. OMS-25130 US 2002 Sell This Version
7 4687 2 Bobby Osborne - Original album art Bobby Osborne Original (Album) Compass Records 7 4687 2 US 2017 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

1037 Bobby Osborne - You'll Never Be The Same / Blue Eyed Darlin' album art Jimmy Martin And Bob Osborne* And The Sunny Mountain Boys Jimmy Martin And Bob Osborne* And The Sunny Mountain Boys - You'll Never Be The Same / Blue Eyed Darlin'(Shellac, 10") King Records (3) 1037 US 1951 Sell This Version
EP-602 Bobby Osborne - White Oak Mountain Breakdown album art Leon Jackson (3), Johnny Bryant And The White Oak Mountain Boys / Jimmy Martin, Bob Osborne* And The Sunny Mountain Boys Leon Jackson (3), Johnny Bryant And The White Oak Mountain Boys / Jimmy Martin, Bob Osborne* And The Sunny Mountain Boys - White Oak Mountain Breakdown(7", EP) Blue Grass Special EP-602 US 1961 Sell This Version
2-1527 Bobby Osborne - No One Will Cry For Maria / From L.A. To New Orleans (Broken Down Bus) album art Bobby Osborne No One Will Cry For Maria / From L.A. To New Orleans (Broken Down Bus)(7", Single, Promo) Date 2-1527 US 1966 Sell This Version
GT4-2027 Bobby Osborne - She's Just A Cute Thing / Blue Eyed Darlin' album art Jimmy Martin And Bob Osborne* Jimmy Martin And Bob Osborne* - She's Just A Cute Thing / Blue Eyed Darlin' Gusto Records (2) GT4-2027 US 1979 Sell This Version
Bi-771-M Bobby Osborne - New York City N.Y. album art Bobby Osborne New York City N.Y.(7", Single, Mono, Promo) Bikini Bi-771-M US Unknown Sell This Version

Compilations

CD-8530 Bobby Osborne - The 3 Tenors Of Bluegrass album art Wiseman* / Silvers* / Osborne* Wiseman* / Silvers* / Osborne* - The 3 Tenors Of Bluegrass (Comp, Album) CMH CD-8530 US 2000 Sell This Version