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Mary Osborne

Mary Osborne was an American jazz electric guitarist.

Osborne was born in Minot, North Dakota, the tenth of eleven children. Her family was very musically inclined; her mother played guitar and her father, in addition to constructing violins, allowed his barbershop to be the meeting place for the town’s musicians. As early as 3 years of age, she showed an interest in and a knack for playing music. Osborne’s earliest instruments included piano, ukelele, violin, and banjo. At age nine, she first played the guitar. At ten, she started playing banjo in her father’s ragtime band. She also came to be featured on her own radio program, which she would continue to perform on twice weekly until she was fifteen. At twelve she started her own trio of girls to perform in Bismarck, North Dakota. The music she was playing during this time period was largely “hillbilly”, or country music, in which the guitar was simply used to accompany her own vocals.

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