Bashful Brother Oswald


  • Born and raised in Sevierville, Tennessee (Great Smoky Mountains). Lived in Madison, Tennessee most of his professional life.
  • Real name: Beecher Ray Kirby. He also went by the name Pete Kirby.
  • He was a longtime member of Roy Acuff’s Smokey Mountain Boys (1934-1992).
  • He is best known for introducing the resophonic guitar (Dobro™) to country music. He also plays clawhammer banjo.
  • The nickname “Bashful Brother Oswald” was given to him by Acuff when he added a young unmarried woman named Rachel Veach to his band. Oswald pretended to be her brother, making her presence in the group acceptable to conservative audiences. To fit his name, Kirby created the clownish Oswald character, wearing a floppy, wide-brimmed hat, tattered bib overalls, over-sized work shoes and adopting a braying laugh.
  • After Acuff’s death, he was made a member of the Grand Ole Opry (1994) and continued to perform as a solo artist.
  • 1994, appeared on The Great Dobro Sessions album, featuring other musicians like Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas, Josh Graves, Rob Ickes, Tut Taylor and Gene Wooten.
  • He died in 2002 at the age of 90.