When it comes to the banjo in bluegrass or anywhere else, aside from maybe Earl Scruggs, nobody else has been heard and enjoyed more than Sonny Osborne of The Osborne Brothers. Both prolific and influential, the Osborne Brothers rendition of the iconic song “Rocky Top.”
With the recent deaths of some of country music’s oldest living legends and links to its past such as Don Maddox of Maddox Brothers and Rose at the age of 98, and Sue Thompson at 96, it seems like a suitable time to ask, who are some of the oldest legends of country music still living?
Bill Hayes, Bill Pittman, Billie Jean Horton, Bobby Bare, Bobby Osborne, CW McCall, Jesse McReynolds, Jim and Jesse, Leroy Van Dyke, Loretta Lynn, Merv Shiner, Ray Howard, Rose Lee Maphis, Stonewall Jackson, The Osborne Brothers, Violet Hensley, Willie Nelson
Josh Turner has experienced a rocky road over the last few years, having to wrestle with his label MCA Nashville to release his music, and to release the music he wants to. But a project long in coming, often promised to fans, and highly-anticipated by the public is finally on its way.
The International Bluegrass Music Association held their annual awards gala on Thursday evening (9-28) as part of their week-long conference in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Earls of Leicester were once again a big winner for Entertainer of the Year, while a couple of young instrumentalists also made big news.
With the passing of the 94-year-old “Little” Jimmy Dickens at the beginning of 2015, it’s a reminder for us to cherish the final living links to country music’s most legendary past who can still tell stories of how country music once was. The amount of performers who were important in forming the very foundation of country music are quickly fading away.
Bill Monroe, Billie Jean Horton, Bobby Osborne, Buck Owens, Buck White, Carter Stanley, Don Maddox, Eddie Arnold, Elvis, George Jones, Hank Snow, Hank Williams, Harold Bradley, Jan Howard, Jean Shepard, Jesse McReynolds, Jim and Jesse, Jim Ed Brown, Joe Pennington, Keith Whitley, Larry Sparks, Lee Ann Womack, Lefty Frizell, Little Jimmy Dickens, Maddox Brothers & Rose, Marty Stuart, Mel Tillis, Owen Bradley, Pee Wee King, Ralph Stanley, Ray Price, Red Simpson, Ricky Skaggs, Rose Maddox, Roy Acuff, Roy Orbison, Stonewall Jackson, Studio 'A', The Clinch Mountain Boys, The Grand Ole Opry, The Quonset Hut, The Stanley Brothers, The Whites, Tompall Glaser, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson
Out of the 67 current members of the Opry, only 25 of them fulfilled their 10 appearance obligation, and three of those died during the year. 11 members didn’t make any appearances at all. But what may be more interesting is who is appearing on the Opry to take up the slack. Of the Top 11 performing members at the Grand Ole Opry in 2014, the average age was 79-years-old.
Bill Anderson, Blake Shelton, Bobby Osborne, Brad Paisley, Byron Fay, Carrie Underwood, Chris Jansen, Connie Smith, Craig Morgan, Darius Rucker, Elizabeth Cook, George Hamilton IV, Jean Shepard, Jeannie Seely, Jesse McReynolds, Jim Ed Brown, Jimmy C. Newman, John Conley, Little Big Town, Little Jimmy Dickens, Lorrie Morgan, Mike Snider, Old Crow Medicine Show, Pete Fisher, Rascal Flatts, Riders In The Sky, Sarah Darling, The Grand Ole Opry, The Henningsens, The Whites, Vince Gill, WSM