The Tradition

Mad Mountain Ramblers, 1963 (left to right): Bob Warford, Chris Darrow, David Lindley, Steve Cahill.

“Bluegrass Spectaculars” at the Ice House

Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Carlton Haney has received (and deserved) much acclaim for his production of a bluegrass festival in 1965 at Cantrell’s Horse Farm in Fincastle, Virginia, universally hailed as the first multi-day bluegrass festival and the model for all that followed. The only problem with this much-repeated narrative is that “Bluegrass Spectaculars,”…

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Mural in downtown Lansing, North Carolina of Ola Belle Reed, created and painted by Joni Ray of the Ashe County Arts Council. Photo Courtesy of Cathy Fink.

The Songwriting of Ola Belle Reed

“High on a mountain, wind blowing free  Thinking about the days that used to be High on a mountain, standing all alone Wondering where the years of my life have flown” 1 These iconic lyrics by Ola Belle Reed are a right of passage for any bluegrass singer or band.  “I’ve endured, I’ve endured, How…

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My Favorite Memories

Remembering my Friend, Bobby Osborne 1992 I first met Bobby in 1992 while attending the Old Joe Clark Bluegrass Festival in Renfro Valley, Kentucky. This was my first time attending a bluegrass festival and I was carrying around my first guitar for all the artists to sign. I had upgraded to a better instrument so…

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Notes & Queries – September 2023

Queries  Q: Can you tell me who the pickers and singers were on the 1950s recordings of the Country Pardners? Jerry Steinberg, Salem, Virginia. A: The Country Pardners was a short-lived group that came together in 1955 and disbanded two years later. Bill Price, a mandolin player/tenor singer from North Carolina was the founder and…

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Bobby Osborne

Mourning the Loss of a Legend  Photo By Scott Simontacchi The world of bluegrass music mourns the loss of one of its iconic figures with the death of Bobby Osborne. He passed away on June 27 at the age of 91 just four days after his friend—and another legend of the genre—Jesse McReynolds, died. For…

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Bobby Osborne and C.J. Lewandowski. Photo Courtesy of C.J. Lewandowski

Preserving Bobby Osborne’s Legend

C.J. Lewandowski of the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys says that at fifteen years old, when he met Bobby Osborne, one of his heroes, he would never have dreamed of the friendship that would develop between the two musicians. Over the years that followed, Lewandowski, also a mandolin player, learned from Osborne—music lessons and life lessons. In…

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