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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

41

"Rocky Top": A Four-Part Sound Exploration


Why, it's the band that George Herbert Walker Bush once called "Nitty Ditty Nitty Gritty Great Bird," performing the best song about a hometown ever written (shut up.) If you have an online dating profile, maybe you could describe yourself as "wild as a mink but sweet as soda pop" and weed out people who don't like bluegrass?


The Osborne Brothers, in the prime of their young, gold-jacketed lives.


The Osborne Brothers, slightly battered by time.


How did I ever have the patience to wait long enough for Phish to start playing? Oh.

41 Comments / Post A Comment

Ragged But Right

Aargh! I saw Bobby Osborne play this 2 years ago at the Ramble and it was amazing. I tapped my feet so hard I pulled a muscle.

Oliver St. John Mollusc

Can't grow corn on Rocky Top! Gotta get your corn from a can!

Oliver St. John Mollusc

@Oliver St. John Mollusc Ooof, I think I mangled the lyrics. In my defense, I didn't listen to the song first. Oh wait.

Probs

@Oliver St. John Mollusc corn from a jar, my friend- as in, moonshine!

Snow Jelly

As a Knoxvillian (perhaps Knoxvillain?), I feel obligated to say GO VOLS. Every time this song is played at a Tennessee wedding, it totally brings down the house.

MisskristenL

@Snow Jelly Yes! I am a Vol alum and Rocky Top will always remind me of Knoxville.

Kulojam

@Snow Jelly I'm a Bama fan but even I have to admit this is the most fun song to scream at a football game EVER. My stepmom is a Vol so my dad and I go to the games with her sometimes and have a blast Rocky Topping it out.

Inkling

@Snow Jelly
(1) What is the worst song from the worst school doing on the best website?
(2) People play this at weddings?!
(3) Heya, fellow UT Knoxville 'Pinner!

Snow Jelly

@Inkling 'Rocky Top' has been played at every wedding I've ever been to in Tennessee. Even when it's played ironically, people end up embracing the hoedown. Such is the power of that song.

My boyfriend grew up in Knoxville, and in elementary school, they had to sing Rocky Top after the Pledge of Allegiance on Fridays.

swampette

@Snow Jelly As a Gator who spent a particularly long football season in Knoxville (culminating in a national championship!), I could. not. believe. that I was seeing this on The Hairpin. I still can't, actually.

daisicles

@Inkling Like they wouldn't play it at weddings. I'm not from Knoxville, I didn't even go to UT (I went to the state university without a football team!), but the song is still engraved on my brain from all the times it's been played in other settings. Forever. And ever.

Inkling

@daisicles
Oh my gods I'm so glad I don't have friends, and do not have to go to any weddings.

ellbeejay

@Kulojam Yeah, okay, "Rocky Top" is catchy. I would never sing it at a football game, because gross and ROLL TIDE, but it does get stuck in my head every once in a while. I still have a sweet, warm place for this really goofy + hilarious + ruggedly handsome Tennessee fan I wanted to make out with back when we were both naive MFA kids. He plays guitar, too, and does a pretty good version of this himself, so I think of his. He believes me a traitor because I pull for the Tide, but I get the feeling, if I had kissed him even once, I'd never have even gone to Bama. Oh boy, howdy. It's a good thing, I guess, seeing as how I'm all married now and the BCS and all, but Jesus he was beautiful. Wait...what were we talking about?

charlesbois

Bluegrass is my secret no-one-knows-I-listen-to-this music. Except oops now you all know. Rocky Top and Mountain Dew are some of the songs I listen to most.

leonstj

@charlesbois - Bluegrass is awesome. I feel bad for people who say they listen "to everything except for rap & country" because, for one - I bet they also don't like jazz or classical, which lame. Also, because between, like The High Lonesome Sound and Illmatic, you are missing so many good things.

Dammit. Now I want to make a bluegrass Aquemini.

charlesbois

@leon s oh thanks! I had never heard of the High Lonesome Sound. Listening now. And I agree that people who say they listen to everything except country and rap are missing out. In reality, they probably listen to Top 40, and call it "everything."

yeah-elle

@charlesbois Don't keep it a secret! Bluegrass is awesome.

fondue with cheddar

@leon s I think when people say they don't like country they're thinking of a particular style of country. But country encompasses so much! Bluegrass is fantastic.

crango

Yesss, an opportunity to share one of my favorite covers ever!!! http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Larkin+Grimm+Rocky+Top

ColdFinger

Oh, definitely the first Osborne Brothers one! Wild as a mink indeed!

Probs

Ah, this takes me back to being 15 and translating for some church group doing a vacation bible school type thing in Venezuela. The Tennessean teens teaching one of the other translators, an awesome young Venezuelan woman, how to sing Rocky Top. It was a trip.

yeah-elle

Yesss, I love bluegrass. Honestly some of my happiest moments each month are going to an every-other-week live bluegrass night at a local bar. Those guys are incredible.

ru_ri

Best version of this is on Scrawl's first record. Even tho they are from Ohio.

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