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    Bluegrass Pioneer and ‘Rocky Top’ Singer Bobby Osborne Was Shot in the Head in Korea

    Bluegrass Pioneer and ‘Rocky Top' Singer Bobby Osborne Was Shot in the Head in Korea

    Even those who aren't fans of bluegrass music likely know a little about Rocky Top, Tennessee. They probably know that corn won't grow at all on Rocky Top, because the dirt's too rocky. By far.

    The reason for that is Sonny and Bobby Osborne, founding members of the legendary Osborne Brothers bluegrass band, who helped bring bluegrass into mainstream America. With songs like “Rocky Top” and “Roll Muddy River,” they continuously pioneered the art form since the 1950s.

    Lead singer and mandolinist Bobby Osborne died June 27, 2023, at age 91, the last of the duo and one of the last of bluegrass' first generation. He was also a Purple Heart recipient who was wounded in .

    Kentucky-born Bobby Osborne, the older of the two brothers, began his professional music career as a teen in the late 1940s. His family moved to Dayton, Ohio, when he was 9. At 18, he struck off to West Virginia with his brother Sonny. The pair formed the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers and were soon joined by their sister, Louise, for their first album in 1951.

    But before the Osborne Brothers made it big, Bobby Osborne would get drafted by the Marine Corps. First sworn into the in 1951, he had a choice: the or the Marine Corps. They told him the soldiers would be sent to Fort Meade, Maryland, for training while the Marines would go to Pendleton, California. Bobby chose the Corps so he could see Southern California and avoid…

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