Ralph Stanley

Real Name:
Ralph Edmond Stanley
Profile:
Born February 25, 1927 in Big Spraddle Creek, Virginia. Died June 23, 2016 at his home in the same mountains of southwestern Virginia where he was born. Brother of Carter Stanley, father of Ralph Stanley II, grandfather of Nathan Stanley.

Growing up in rural southwestern Virginia, Stanley learned to play the banjo, claw-hammer, style from his mother. It was her inspiration, coupled with Stanley's natural ability, which led Ralph and his older guitar-playing brother Carter, to form the their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, in 1946. Drawing heavily on the musical traditions of the area - the holiness singing of the Primitive Baptist Church and the sweet down home family harmonies of the Carter Family- the Stanleys began honing their own special style of music by singing at local events in the early 1940s.

Ralph and Carter performed as The Stanley Brothers with their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys from 1946 to 1966. After Carter's death in 1966, Ralph Stanley continued to perform, eventually reviving the Clinch Mountain Boys. Larry Sparks, Roy Lee Centers, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, and Charlie Sizemore were among those with whom he played in the revived band. Stanley has maintained an extensive touring schedule, with dates scheduled through 2007. 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 of the new millennium to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. Stanley's work was also featured in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in which he sings the dirge "O Death." With this song, Stanley won the 2002 Grammy Award in the category of Best Male Country Vocal Performance. He's featured in the Josh Turner hit "Me and God," released in 2006.

Ralph created a unique style of banjo playing, sometimes called "Stanley Style". This style evolved from Scruggs style, which is a three finger technique. "Stanley style" is distinguished by incredibly fast "forward rolls," led by the index finger, sometimes in the higher registers of his instrument utilizing the capo.
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Albums

SR-60884 Ralph Stanley - Hard Times album art Stanley Brothers* And The Clinch Mountain Boys Featuring Ralph Stanley Stanley Brothers* And The Clinch Mountain Boys Featuring Ralph Stanley - Hard Times (Album) Mercury SR-60884 US 1963 Sell This Version
SLP 1503 Ralph Stanley - Something Old, Something New, Some Of Katy's Mountain Dew album art Ralph Stanley Something Old, Something New, Some Of Katy's Mountain Dew (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP 1503 US 1971 Sell This Version
SLP 1508 Ralph Stanley - Old Country Church album art Ralph Stanley Old Country Church (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP 1508 US 1972 Sell This Version
SLP-1530, REB-1530 Ralph Stanley - A Man And His Music album art Ralph Stanley A Man And His Music(LP, Album) Rebel Records (3), Rebel Records (3) SLP-1530, REB-1530 US 1974 Sell This Version
SLP 1544 Ralph Stanley - Let Me Rest On A Peaceful Mountain (Hills Of Home) album art Ralph Stanley Let Me Rest On A Peaceful Mountain (Hills Of Home) (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP 1544 US 1975 Sell This Version
SLP 1562 Ralph Stanley - Old Home Place album art Ralph Stanley Old Home Place (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP 1562 US 1976 Sell This Version
CR5-52 Ralph Stanley - Dueling Banjos album art Don Reno, Ralph Stanley, Bill Emerson, Jim & Jesse & Various Don Reno, Ralph Stanley, Bill Emerson, Jim & Jesse & Various - Dueling Banjos(Cass, Album) Country Road, Starday King CR5-52 US 1976 Sell This Version
GT-0077 Ralph Stanley - First Time Together album art Jimmy Martin And Ralph Stanley Jimmy Martin And Ralph Stanley - First Time Together (Album) Gusto Records (2) GT-0077 US 1980 Sell This Version
REB 1657 Ralph Stanley - I'll Answer The Call album art Ralph Stanley I'll Answer The Call (Album) Rebel Records (3) REB 1657 US 1988 Sell This Version
C-1677 Ralph Stanley - Ralph Stanley & Raymond Fairchild album art Ralph Stanley & Raymond Fairchild Ralph Stanley & Raymond Fairchild - Ralph Stanley & Raymond Fairchild(Cass, Album) Rebel Records (3) C-1677 US 1989 Sell This Version
Copper Creek CCCD-0110 Ralph Stanley -  Like Father, Like Son album art Ralph Stanley Like Father, Like Son(CD, Album) Copper Creek Records Copper Creek CCCD-0110 US 1989 Sell This Version
TC-9001 Ralph Stanley - Saturday Night & Sunday Morning album art Ralph Stanley Saturday Night & Sunday Morning (Album) Freeland Recording Company TC-9001 US 1992 Sell This Version
FRC-CD639 Ralph Stanley - Christmas Time With Ralph Stanley album art Ralph Stanley Christmas Time With Ralph Stanley(CD, Album) Charles R. Freeland Recording Company FRC-CD639 US 1993 Sell This Version
TC-642 Ralph Stanley - A Gospel Gathering album art Ralph Stanley And Joe Issacs* Ralph Stanley And Joe Issacs* - A Gospel Gathering (Album) Freeland Recording Company TC-642 US 1995 Sell This Version
REB-CD-1735 Ralph Stanley - Short Life Of Trouble: Songs Of Grayson And Whitter album art Ralph Stanley Short Life Of Trouble: Songs Of Grayson And Whitter(CD, Album) Rebel Records (3) REB-CD-1735 US 1996 Sell This Version
REB-C-1740 Ralph Stanley - My All And All album art Ralph Stanley My All And All (Album) Rebel Records (3) REB-C-1740 US 1997 Sell This Version
REB-5001 Ralph Stanley - Clinch Mountain Country album art Ralph Stanley & Friends* Ralph Stanley & Friends* - Clinch Mountain Country(2xCD, Album) Rebel Records (3) REB-5001 US 1998 Sell This Version
REB-CD-1765 Ralph Stanley - While The Ages Roll On album art Ralph Stanley While The Ages Roll On(CD, Album) Rebel Records (3) REB-CD-1765 US 2000 Sell This Version
REBEL-C-1770 Ralph Stanley - Clinch Mountain Sweethearts album art Ralph Stanley & Friends* Ralph Stanley & Friends* - Clinch Mountain Sweethearts (Album) Rebel Records (3) REBEL-C-1770 US 2001 Sell This Version
510159 2 Ralph Stanley - Ralph Stanley album art Ralph Stanley Ralph Stanley (Album) DMZ (2), Columbia 510159 2 Europe 2002 Sell This Version
none Ralph Stanley - Sings His Favorites Now And Then album art Ralph Stanley Sings His Favorites Now And Then(CD, Album) Not On Label (Ralph Stanley Self-released) none US 2005 Sell This Version
REB-CD-1810 Ralph Stanley - Shine On album art Ralph Stanley Shine On(CD, Album) Rebel Records (3) REB-CD-1810 US 2005 Sell This Version
82796 93629 2 Ralph Stanley - A Distant Land To Roam (Songs Of The Carter Family) album art Ralph Stanley A Distant Land To Roam (Songs Of The Carter Family) (Album) DMZ (2), Columbia 82796 93629 2 US 2006 Sell This Version
M19488 Ralph Stanley - Early Classics: The King Recordings album art Ralph Stanley Early Classics: The King Recordings(CD, Album) Time Life Music M19488 US 2007 Sell This Version
TGR-NS003 Ralph Stanley - Where Will You Go album art Ralph Stanley & Nathan Stanley Ralph Stanley & Nathan Stanley - Where Will You Go(CD) Third Generation Records TGR-NS003 US 2008 Sell This Version