The Man Behind Rocky Top Is Gone
The man whose voice has graced Neyland Stadium during football season for the last 50 years is now gone. Bluegrass legend Bobby Osborne died on Tuesday at the age of 91. Bobby along with his brother Sonny became one of the most beloved acts in bluegrass and country music as the Osborne Brothers. They were among the first bluegrass acts to add elements of country music, such as drums and steel guitar to their blend of bluegrass. It was in 1967, the Osborne Brothers recorded one of the most legendary songs in not just Tennessee but all of country music.
Rocky Top had been written by Boudleaux and Felice Bryant in a Gatlinburg Motel room. Bobby and Sonny got the song in November of that year and Bobby made the comment that the tempo needed to be sped up and that would result in one of Tennessee’s state songs and the theme for the Tennessee Vols especially during football season. Sonny Osborne died two years ago in 2021 at the age of 84. Bobby Osborne, who was still performing as late as last month, is now gone at the age of 91.