The Osborne Brothers
About The Osborne Brothers
Kentuckians Bobby Van Osborne, a mandolinist, and Sonny Osborne, a banjoist, were instrumental in bridging the first generation of bluegrass with the festival revival of the '70s through peerless harmonizing, crossover success and an experimental streak. They flipped traditional bluegrass vocal arrangements by stacking the harmonies and foregrounding Sonny's high tenor as the lead, and sometimes angered purists with their occasional use of drums, piano, and electric guitar. Among the genre's most beloved acts--their '60s hits "Rocky Top" and "Ruby" are two of its most indelible songs--the brothers officially ended their legendary stint in 2005 with Sonny's retirement. In 1994, the duo were inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor and count two state songs--"Rocky Top" (Tennessee) and "Kentucky" (Kentucky)--among their accomplishments.