When I made my first appearance for the Grand Ole Opry in 1984, I had already appeared on shows with one of the long-running stars of the show Rollin “Oscar” Sullivan of Lonzo & Oscar.
Lonzo and Oscar were one of country music’s best-known comedy duos. Although there were three Lonzo’s through the years that Oscar owned the name, there was only one Oscar, whose talents as a singer and mandolin player were top-notch. The country bumpkin costumes of their performances popularized in the heyday of classic country had eased to more of a leisure suit look by the time I came to know Oscar.
Though he was still carrying off his comic flair with ease, behind the scenes, I came to know a man that was diligent in his business and mindful of those who cared about his work.
Lonzo and Oscar retired from the Opry in 1985 but Oscar continued to share his talents.
I was saddened Sept. 8 when I learned of the passing of 93-year-old icon of country comedy.
When I was a boy the full color film taken of his performances in Nashville in the 1950s kept me laughing. The songs Lonzo and Oscar popularized such as “I’m My Own Grandpa,” and “There’s A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea” still put a smile on my face.
I am told my great grandpa Lambert often sang the latter one to amuse his grandkids.
It is safe to say that Oscar amused more than grandkids, he amused generations lifting them from their daily labors ever so briefly and allowing them to live a better life.
I know my life has been better by the work he did in his life…. Thanks Oscar!
Another good guy of country music recently received recognition in Hollywood.
Country music superstar Vince Gill was on hand to see his star unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. His wife Amy Grant spoke at the ceremony and his long-time producer Tony Brown and Reba McEntire were also there to honor him.
Another Grand Ole Opry friend Ricky Skaggs returns to store shelves with a new release “Music to My Ears” on Sept. 25.
Ricky said he hopes the project will be music to your ears as well. With the title song he provides a wonderful gospel reference to the saying.
“We have flavored it with all of my favorite sounds and I’m excited to have teamed up with some of the best musicians in the business to create this new record,” he said.
In a unique pairing, Ricky is joined by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees for “Soldier’s Son.”
On the project, Ricky pays homage to the late Doc Watson with “Tennessee Stud.”
He even pens a song “You Can’t Hurt Ham” loosely based upon something said by the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe that even tips it’s hat to Opry star Uncle Dave Macon.
The project, produced by Ricky and co-produced by Gordon Kennedy, is a magnificent collection that allows Ricky’s musical and vocal talents to shine immensely.
Watch for this great new release from Skaggs Family Records at www.skaggsfamilyrecords.com.