We Want More Mary

March 30, 2007

Nicolai Foss

Among the very first converts to the Charlie Christian style was Mary Osborne (1921-1992). Osborne was, judging from the very little of her work that exists on CD, a very, very strong player. She swung hard with a robust style, somewhat akin to the style of another early convert to the CC style, Tiny Grimes, but perhaps with a more boppish orientation. Osborne played with Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Mary Lou Williams and other luminaries. Add to this that she sang very well (e.g., check her two pieces on Guitar Rarities, Vol. 2).

So why is so little of the output of this fine artist available in the CD format (perhaps about 4-5 tracks, including a few great tracks with Coleman Hawkins)? True — she didn’t put out that much, but why isn’t for example A Girl and Her Guitar available?

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2 Responses to “We Want More Mary”

  1. snorrevonflake Says:

    i agree, in my search for early swing / blues guitarists i remembered Mary Osborne and had to find out that none of her material is available. (i remember holding a cd in my hands many years ago but then decided not to buy it – was a mistake)

  2. Thomas Says:

    You can find three of Mary’s recordings on:

    Swing to Bop Guitar – Guitars In Flight 1939 – 1947

    which, at the time of my writing this, can be purchased song by song from iTunes Music Store.


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