Ralph Stanley
American singer
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley, also known as Dr. Ralph Stanley, is an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing.
Biography
Ralph Stanley's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Ralph Stanley from around the web
Five things you don't know about Americana music icon Jim Lauderdale
Huffington Post - 5 months
Jim Lauderdale broke out in 2016. An overnight success? Hardly. It's taken nearly three decades and about as many albums to receive the recognition that the Americana icon cleary deserves. He performed at the International Bluegrass Music Association's annual gathering in Raleigh, North Carolina, the same day his 29th album, "This Changes Everything," was released. The album, which was largely recorded during a single day in Austin while on a break from his summertime tour, presents Lauderdale's unique version of the traditional Texas dancehall sound. It's filled with shuffles, rave-ups, plenty of sharp songwriting and appearances by a handful of genuine Texas legends, including producer and pedal steel player Tommy Detamore, drummer Tom Lewis (Heybale, Whitney Rose), pianist Floyd Domino (an original member of Asleep at the Wheel), Bobby Flores (Ray Price's longtime fiddle player), Kevin Smith (bass player for Willie Nelson), Chris Masterson (one-half of the Mastersons, as w ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Hundreds attend funeral of music legend Ralph Stanley
Yahoo News - 8 months
MCCLURE, Va. (AP) — Legendary bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley has been laid to rest in his hometown of McClure, Virginia.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Days on the Ridgetop With Dr. Ralph Stanley
Wall Street Journal - 8 months
The legend of ‘old-time mountain music’ didn’t like to talk much. But long-ago memories brought him out.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Ralph Stanley, Whose Mountain Music Gave Rise to Bluegrass, Dies at 89
NYTimes - 8 months
Mr. Stanley was a singer, banjo player and guardian of unvarnished mountain music whose staple, updated for “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” introduced him to a new generation of listeners.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Remembering Bluegrass And Banjo Legend Ralph Stanley
NPR - 8 months
The Grammy Award-winning bluegrass pioneer died yesterday. He was 89. Stanley spoke to Fresh Air in 2002 about his career and his work on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.
Article Link:
NPR article
Future Islands Returning to Perform on Letterman’s “Late Show”
Headline Planet - almost 2 years
While many are musically stellar, few late night talk show performances reach a point of being memorable. Future Islands’ spring 2014 appearance on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman” rocketed past that point. Not simply memorable, it resonated as an instant classic. Highlighted by lead singer Samuel T. Herring’s erratic dance moves and fierce vocal intensity, the band’s mesmerizing rendition of “Seasons (Waiting on You)” amounted to far more than a promo spot. It created an audio and visual experience that countless music fans would come to recognize. While some parody emerged alongside the reverence, there was no denying the impact of the performance. And when the song appeared at the top of many highly-regarded “best of 2014″ lists a half-year later, the performance video made an impact again. On April 28, Future Islands will receive the chance to create another classic “Letterman” moment. CBS confirms that the band will appear as that evening’s musical guest. Actor ...
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Headline Planet article
Local man donates hundreds of records to bluegrass museum
Blue Ridge Now - over 3 years
The sound of the Monroe Brothers filled Fred Chaffee's dining room. The 84-year-old closed his eyes, nodded his head and softly whispered the words of the bluegrass music he's loved for nearly 50 years. "This music here," he said, "you won't hear anywhere else." Chaffee has 460 records of the different artists and songs that he loves. He's donating 300 of those albums to the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky. at the end of September. His albums are tucked away behind different cabinets all through his Hendersonville home. Those records, he said, represent classic, traditional bluegrass. Chaffee doesn't have the stomach for the contemporary bluegrass on the radio today. He's more interested in the classics like Bill Monroe, Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs, or his favorite, Ralph Stanley. He beamed as he pulled out several Stanley Brother albums and flipped through them. "Now you can't buy any of these records," he said. "Everything I own is obsolete." ...
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Blue Ridge Now article
Ricky Skaggs to hold book signing in Roanoke
Roanoke.com - over 3 years
For all you country music lovers, Ricky Skaggs will be at the Barnes & Noble at Valley View Mall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, to sign copies of his memoir “Kentucky Traveler: My Life in Music.” From the news release: “From his first memories of music played at the knee of his father, through his spectacular rise in the mainstream music industry, to his ultimate return back to the bluegrass music of his roots, music great Ricky Skaggs tells the intimate stories of a career built on passion, respect, and faith, shares tales of his musical heroes and influences (from Bill Monroe to Ray Charles, Billy Graham, Ralph Stanley, and Earl Scruggs), and paints a unique insider look at this quintessentially American musical genre in his widely anticipated memoir, KENTUCKY TRAVELER: My Life in Music   “During his career, he has put his own stamp on the mainstream country format, resulting in 14 Grammy awards, twelve #1 hits, eight Academy of Country Music Awards and eight Country Mu ...
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Roanoke.com article
In 'Lawless,' Nick Cave crafts a new murder ballad
Seattle Pi - over 4 years
In 'Lawless,' Nick Cave crafts a new murder ballad Associated Press Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Updated 3:32 p.m., Tuesday, August 28, 2012 CANNES, France (AP) — Writing the Prohibition-era bootlegger crime film "Lawless" — his second realized script and largest movie production yet — taught Australian songwriter Nick Cave certain foundational lessons of Hollywood moviemaking. In adapting Matt Bondurant's novel, Cave was predictably moved to include scenes from the book of a pig's slaughter and a dead calf's birth, but had to settle for gangster gunplay and an ominous atmosphere alive with the constant threat of sudden brutality. Like the bloody Proposition, ''Lawless is another kind of murder ballad for Cave, one populated with colorful characters compelled by primal urges. Cave says that the larger size of "Lawless," which the ...
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Seattle Pi article
Live music picks: May 18-24
ajc - almost 5 years
One of music’s perennial road warriors, , the Dave Matthews Band, celebrated its 20th anniversary last year by taking its first-ever break from summer touring. But the boys are back on May 22 at Aaron’s Amphitheatre. FRIDAY Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. The legendary banjo player, 85, brings his “Stanley Style” of picking and old-time bluegrass to an intimate spot. 9 p.m. Friday. $23 (advance), $25 (day of show). The Loft at Center Stage, Atlanta. FRIDAY AND SATURDAY Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan. Jason Aldean, the country boy from Macon, had an unqualified smash with the release of his fourth album. It’s sold more than 2.5 million copies since November 2010, spawned five radio hits — including the unusual pairing with Clarkson and “Dirt Road Anthem,” co-written by Georgians Colt Ford and Brantley Gilbert — and earned a best country album Grammy nomination. Aldean has sold out two nights at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood – …
Article Link:
ajc article
Tonight: The Cutting Room
The Portland Mercury - almost 5 years
David Krebs BodyVox goes intergalactic, and brings their exercise bands with them. BodyVox is trying something different. And, as usual, it’s joyful, clever, and pretty irresistible. Their new show, The Cutting Room, debuted last week; it takes the contemporary genre of dance-theater and stretches it into dance-cinema. The Cutting Room is a cinephile’s dream; it borrows aesthetics and iconography from the likes of The Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Amadeus, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. (The score includes both Mozart and the Appalachian Ralph Stanley.) Amazingly, there is only one intermission during the entire show; the varying aesthetics (futuristic, Baroque, backcountry, et. al) are strung together by an ongoing chase scene: a loose, silly narrative involving a man in a tie and suit (Jamey Hampton) and a man in sunglasses and an Adidas track suit (Jonathan Krebs), fighting over a MacGuffin—a mysterious film reel that’s introduced in the first few minutes of the perfo ...
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The Portland Mercury article
Out of the Old Home Place
Tuscon Weekly - almost 5 years
Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley comes to Tucson for a special night of film and music by Jim Lipson Ralph Stanley's well-written biographical summary states that his voice is of another century (not even the 20th) and another time. While it would be easy to dismiss this as typical PR-speak, one can't help but wonder if the publicity folks may not only have gotten it right about his voice, but about his persona as well.… [ Read more ] [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]
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Tuscon Weekly article
The Crooked Road announces sweepstakes to win getaway packages to seven of its destinations
Roanoke.com - almost 5 years
The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is giving away quick getaway packages to several spots along its winding span. A sweepstakes, which begins on Wednesday, will result in seven packages of venue tickets, overnight accommodations and other activities near each spot. Here are the trips, according to a Crooked Road news release: ·      Galax Radio and Bluegrass Weekend ·      Floyd Weekend ·      Ralph Stanley and Blue Highway Weekend ·      Bluegrass and More Weekend ·      Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Weekend ·      Abingdon Weekend ·      Franklin County Weekend Drawings for seven winners are scheduled for July 2. Get all the info at www.thecrookedroad.org/sweepstakes.
Article Link:
Roanoke.com article
Spears 'X Factor' Deal in the Works; Jackson Brothers to Launch 'Unity Tour'
Voice of America - almost 5 years
Spears X Factor Deal in the Works TMZ reports that Britney Spears is close to signing a $15-million deal to be a judge on the second season of America’s X Factor. Creator Simon Cowell dismissed X Factor judges Nicole Scherzinger and Paula Abdul following the show’s debut season.  Host Steve Jones was also let go.  An official statement regarding the signing of Spears will reportedly be made within the next week. Jackson Brothers to Launch 'Unity Tour' <!--IMAGE-LEFT--> Michael Jackson’s brothers Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito have announced they’ll launch their “Unity Tour 2012” on June 18 in Louisville, Kentucky.  The reunion tour marks their first outing since 1984.  Jackie said, “I can’t believe this is finally happening.  There’s nothing like having all the brothers on stage at the same time.  This will be exciting for our fans around the world - and I know at each concert, MJ’s spirit will be in the house with us.”  Twenty-seven U.S. concerts are scheduled through Ju ...
Article Link:
Voice of America article
Hot tickets: April 17
ajc - almost 5 years
Jason Mraz returns to Atlanta for a show at Aaron's Amhitheatre at Lakewood in August. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 20. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com ON SALE NOW P.O.D. 8:30 p.m. May 1. The Loft. $20; $17 in advance. TA. Eulogy (Tool tribute), Cadillac Junkies. 9 p.m. May 5. Vinyl. $12; $10 in advance. TA. John McEuen and Sons. CD release show for “The McEuen Sessions: For All the Good.” 7 p.m. May 10. Tree Sound Studios, 4610 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross. $30. Tickets via Brown Paper Tickets. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys. 9 p.m. May 18. The Loft. $25; $23 in advance. TA. Ill Communication (Beastie Boys tribute). 9 p.m. May 25. Vinyl. $12; $10 in advance. TA. Laff Mobb featuring Mark Viera, Red Grant, Roz G, Rudy Rush. 8:30 p.m. June 1. Center Stage. $19-$24. TM. Chappo. 9 p.m. June 2. Vinyl. $10; $8 in advance. TA. American Wheel, Super Hooligan. 8 p.m. June 8. Smith’s Olde Bar- Music Room. $8 in advance. TA Drake White. 8 p.m ...
Article Link:
ajc article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ralph Stanley
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 88
    On June 23, 2016, Stanley died as a result of skin cancer.
    More Details Hide Details Stanley created a unique style of banjo playing, sometimes called "Stanley style". It evolved from Wade Mainer style two-finger technique, later influenced by Scruggs style, which is a three-finger technique. "Stanley style" is distinguished by incredibly fast "forward rolls", led by the index finger (instead of the thumb, as in Scruggs style), sometimes in the higher registers using a capo. In "Stanley style", the rolls of the banjo are continuous, while being picked fairly close to the bridge on the banjo, giving the tone of the instrument a very crisp, articulate snap to the strings as the player would strike them.
  • 2013
    Age 85
    In June 2013, he announced a farewell tour, scheduled to begin in Rocky Mount, NC, on October 18 and extending to December 2014.
    More Details Hide Details However, upon notification of being elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (awarded October 11, 2014) a statement on his own website appeared, saying that he would not be retiring.
  • 2012
    Age 84
    Stanley maintained an active touring schedule; appearances in recent years have included the 2012 Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, TN, and the 2013 FreshGrass Festival in North Adams, MA.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 2012, Stanley was featured on several tracks of the soundtrack for Nick Cave's film Lawless, with music by Cave and Warren Ellis.
    More Details Hide Details His solo track "White Light/White Heat" is prominent in several scenes of the movie.
  • 2009
    Age 81
    Stanley's autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow, coauthored with the music journalist Eddie Dean, was released by Gotham Books on October 15, 2009.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2007
    Age 79
    On November 10, 2007, Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys performed at a rally for presidential candidate John Edwards in Des Moines, Iowa, just before the Democratic Party's annual Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner.
    More Details Hide Details Between renditions of "Man of Constant Sorrow" and "Orange Blossom Special", Stanley told the crowd that he had cast his first vote for Harry S. Truman in 1948 and would cast his next for John Edwards in 2008. Country singer Dwight Yoakam has stated that Ralph Stanley is one of his "musical heroes."
  • 2006
    Age 78
    In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
    More Details Hide Details
    He was featured in the Josh Turner hit song "Me and God" released in 2006.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2002
    Age 74
    With that song, Stanley won a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of Best Male Country Vocal Performance. "That put the icing on the cake for me," he said. "It put me in a different category."
    More Details Hide Details Known in the world of bluegrass music by the popular title, "Dr. Ralph Stanley" (after being awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee in 1976), Stanley was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1992 and in 2000, and became the first person to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in the third millennium. He joined producers Randall Franks and Alan Autry for the In the Heat of the Night cast CD Christmas Time's A Comin’, performing "Christmas Time's A Comin'" with the cast on the CD released on Sonlite and MGM/UA; it was one of the most popular Christmas releases of 1991 and 1992 with Southern retailers.
  • 2000
    Age 72
    Stanley's work was featured in the very popular 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in which he sings the Appalachian dirge "O Death."
    More Details Hide Details The soundtrack's producer was T-Bone Burnett. Stanley said the following about working with Burnett:
  • FORTIES
  • 1970
    Age 42
    Around 1970, he ran for Clerk of Court and Commissioner of Revenue in Dickenson County only to state this:
    More Details Hide Details
  • THIRTIES
  • 1967
    Age 39
    Ralph kept the band name when he continued as a solo after Carter's death, from 1967 to the present.
    More Details Hide Details After Carter died of complications of cirrhosis in 1966, after ailing for "a year or so", Ralph faced a hard decision on whether to continue performing on his own. "I was worried, I didn't know if I could do it by myself. But boy, I got letters, 3,000 of 'em, and phone calls... I went to Syd Nathan at King and asked him if he wanted me to go on, and he said, 'Hell yes! You might be better than both of them.'" He decided to go it alone, eventually reviving The Clinch Mountain Boys. Larry Sparks, Roy Lee Centers, and Charlie Sizemore were among those with whom he played in the revived band. He encountered Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley arriving late to his own show: "They were about 16 or 17, and they were holding the crowd 'til we got there... They sounded just exactly like (the Stanley Brothers)." Seeing their potential, he hired them "to give 'em a chance", though that meant a seven-member band. Eventually, his son, Ralph Stanley II, took over as lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Clinch Mountain Boys.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1946
    Age 18
    Ralph and Carter performed as The Stanley Brothers with their band, The Clinch Mountain Boys, from 1946 to 1966.
    More Details Hide Details
    After considering a course in "veterinary", he decided instead to throw in with his older guitar-playing brother Carter Stanley (1925–1966) to form the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946.
    More Details Hide Details Drawing heavily on the musical traditions of the area, which included the unique minor-key singing style of the Primitive Baptist Universalist church and the sweet down-home family harmonies of the Carter Family, the two Stanley brothers began playing on local radio stations. They first performed at Norton, Virginia's WNVA, but did not stay long there, moving on instead to Bristol, Virginia, and WCYB to start the show Farm and Fun Time, where they stayed "off and on for 12 years". At first they covered "a lot of Bill Monroe music" (one of the first groups to pick up the new "bluegrass" format). They soon "found out that didn't pay off—we needed something of our own. So we started writing songs in 1947, 1948. I guess I wrote 20 or so banjo tunes, but Carter was a better writer than me." When Columbia Records signed them as The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe left in protest and joined Decca. Later, Carter went back to sing for the "Father of Bluegrass", Bill Monroe.
  • 1945
    Age 17
    He graduated from high school on May 2, 1945 and was inducted into the Army on May 16, serving "little more than a year."
    More Details Hide Details He immediately began performing when he got home:
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1936
    Age 8
    Ralph Edmond Stanley was born, grew up, and lived in rural Southwest Virginia—"in a little town called McClure at a place called Big Spraddle, just up the holler" from where he moved in 1936 and lived ever since in Dickenson County.
    More Details Hide Details The son of Lee and Lucy Stanley, Ralph did not grow up around a lot of music in his home. As he says, his "daddy didn't play an instrument, but sometimes he would sing church music. And I'd hear him sing songs like 'Man of Constant Sorrow,' 'Pretty Polly' and 'Omie Wise.'" He learned to play the banjo, clawhammer style, from his mother:
  • 1927
    Born
    Born on February 25, 1927.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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