Roland “Sonny” Osborne, of the Bluegrass Hall of Fame Osborne Brothers, died on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2001, following a stroke. Sonny was the banjo player for the Osborne Brothers.
Sonny Osborne, and his broth Bobby, are from Hyden, Ken., a mining town remembered for a coal mining disaster in 1970. The brothers grew up loving music, especially the sounds heard on The Grand Ole Opry. Prior to Bobby joined the U.S. Marine Corps, the brthers formed a band and performed locally. During Bobby’s service, Sonny took a job as banjo player for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Goys. When Bobby was discharged, the brothers worked mostly with other acts, including 1954 recordings with Jimmy Martin and Red Allen.
In the early 1960’s, they formed their own band. The Osborne Brothers were among the first playing modern bluegrass, or newgrass. The band added electric banjos, and later they added electric guitars, steel guitars and drums. Instruments new to the bluegrass music scene.
Tennessee Volunteer sports fans don’t have to be bluegrass fans to know the song ‘Rocky Top. It is the “fight song” for the University of Tennessee’s sports teams.
About 20 years ago, Sonny retired from performing after rotator cuff surgery. Bobby carried on with a solo act with his Rocky Top X-Press band. Sonny remained active in musi by writing columns for Bluegrass Today, and giving banjo lessons.
https://www.countryschatter.com/2021/10/sonny-osborne-of-the-osborne-brothers-dies-at-age-83/NewsPress ReleaseBobby Osborne,Brothers Osborne,Rocky top,Sonny Osborne