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Bashful Brother Oswald

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Biography

Beecher Ray Kirby (December 26, 1911–October 17, 2002), better known as Bashful Brother Oswald, was an American country musician who popularized the use of the resonator guitar and Dobro. He played with Roy Acuff and was a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
Though he released only a few recordings as a solo artist, he played as a session musician on numerous records, including the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 1972 triple album, Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Beecher Ray Kirby was born in rural Sevier County, Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. His father, G. W. Kirby, was an Appalachian folk musician who played fiddle and banjo. As a child, Kirby learned to play guitar and banjo and sang gospel music. By his teens, he was playing for square dances.
In the late 1920s, Kirby followed the path of many people from the Appalachian region and moved to the northern United States to find work. He went to Flint, Michigan and worked on the Buick assembly line. He lost his job, though, in the economic downturn of the Great Depression in the 1930s.
Kirby then returned to music, playing at informal square dance parties held in the homes of other transplanted southerners. It was at one such party that Kirby met a Hawaiian guitarist named Rudy Waikiki.
“That was when I first heard someone play something like my style. He was a real Hawaiian boy, from over in the islands, and he was playing this way and I loved it.

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