It is a mournful week in country and bluegrass as we’ve lost two mandolin playing legends, two influential titans of the bluegrass discipline, and the two oldest members of the Grand Ole Opry in a span of five days.
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
It was October 21st, 1972, marking the third weekend of October, which meant fierce SEC rivals the Tennessee Volunteers would take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in their annual college football tilt—this year played at the Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. Halftime is when “Rocky Top” made its first ever appearance.
Margaret Everly was much more than the mom of the famous Everly Brothers, whose impact on American music installed them as one of the very first members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and later landed them in the Country Music Hall of Fame as well.
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.”
The final piece of the pioneering blood harmony duo The Everly Brothers has passed on. As confirmed by the family, Don Everly died on Saturday, August 21st at his home in Nashville. He was 84. His brother Phil died in 2014, meaning the towering legacy of this signing duo has come to a close.
Even though names like Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Acuff, and The Carter Family loom large for many of country music’s devoted fans, they don’t necessarily rise to the level of household names like Ernest Tubb, and of course the great Hank Williams, who was the centerpiece of the third installment of the Ken Burns ‘Country Music’ documentary.
Those versed in country music knowledge are very aware that the Everly Brothers are in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Those even more versed in country knowledge know that the songwriting pairing of Felice and Boudleaux Bryant who wrote many of the Everly Brothers’ biggest hits are also in the Country Music Hall of […]
One enterprising town in East Tennessee called Lake City just a little north of Knoxville saw where the lack of a true Rocky Top, Tennessee could be an opportunity. Looking to boost tourism to the town of around 2,000, Lake City’s city council voted on November 7th, 2013 to petition the Tennessee State Assembly and have the town’s name officially changed to Rocky Top.
Unlike Elvis, The Beatles, and other such acts that withstood the test of time to become commercial success stories in multiple decades, The Everly Brothers seemed to hit a wall in the early 60â€²s, and never really rekindled their popular magic later in life. Why did this happen? How could an act that was so popular, and seemed to resonate so deeply with the American public get lost in the shuffle?