- From Reidsville, North Carolina.
- Leader of the Nashville Bluegrass Band since its inception (plays banjo).
- 1974, began performing with James Monroe and the Midnight Ramblers.
- 1979, joined The Front Porch String Band.
- 1982, was a member of The Bluegrass Band, a project band led by Butch Robins.
- 1984, formed the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
- Among his songwriting credits: “Those Memories of You” was recorded by “The Trio” (Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris).
- Trademark singing style: holds the head of the banjo up near the microphone while he sings “into” the banjo. According to O’Bryant, he originally did it to get the weight off his diaphragm, thus giving him more vocal control. But he noticed that the “echo” effect also helped him to stay on pitch.
- 1995, received the Heritage Award from the Charlotte (NC) Folk Music Society for his role in preserving his home state’s traditional music.