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. In 1976, Dr. Ralph Stanley received his Honorary Doctorate of Music from Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN. and in 2014, Honorary Doctor Of Music, Berklee College Of Music, Boston MA.

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
JLP 118 Ralph Stanley - Old Time Music album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Old Time Music (Album) Jalyn Records JLP 118 US 1967 Sell This Version
1028 Ralph Stanley - Brand New Country Songs album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Brand New Country Songs (Album) King Records (3) 1028 US 1968 Sell This Version
1032 Ralph Stanley - Over The Sunset Hill album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Over The Sunset Hill (Album) King Records (3) 1032 US 1968 Sell This Version
JLP-120 Ralph Stanley - Bluegrass Sound album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Bluegrass Sound (Album) Jalyn Records JLP-120 US 1968 Sell This Version
KSD 1069 Ralph Stanley - Hills Of Home album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys* Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys* - Hills Of Home (Album) King Records (3) KSD 1069 US 1969 Sell This Version
JLP-129 Ralph Stanley - Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Featuring Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Featuring Keith Whitley & Ricky Skaggs - Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys (Album) Jalyn Records JLP-129 US 1971 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 1499 Ralph Stanley - Cry From The Cross album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Cry From The Cross (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP 1499 US 1971 Sell This Version
MB 108 Ralph Stanley - Sing Michigan Bluegrass album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Sing Michigan Bluegrass (Album) Jessup Records, Inc. MB 108 US 1971 Sell This Version
PLS-105, PMC-6004 Ralph Stanley - John Henry album art Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys - John Henry(LP) Birdree Record, Birdree Record PLS-105, PMC-6004 Japan 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-1514 Ralph Stanley - Play Requests album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys* Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys* - Play Requests (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP-1514 US 1972 Sell This Version
KB-522 Ralph Stanley - The Stanley Sound Around The World album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - The Stanley Sound Around The World (Album) King Bluegrass Records KB-522 US 1973 Sell This Version
MB 129 Ralph Stanley - Sing The Gospel Echoes Of The Stanley Brothers album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Sing The Gospel Echoes Of The Stanley Brothers (Album) Jessup Records, Inc. MB 129 US 1973 Sell This Version
SLP-1522 Ralph Stanley - I Want To Preach The Gospel album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - I Want To Preach The Gospel(LP, Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP-1522 US 1973 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
GXF-6009, GFX-6010 Ralph Stanley - Live! At McClure, Virginia album art Ralph Stanley And Clinch Mountain Boys* Featuring Bill Monroe, Reno-Harrell*, Jimmy Martin, Larry Sparks, Country Gentlemen*, Goins Bros*, Outdoor Plumbing Company*, Raymond Fairchild, Sullivan Family*, Marshall Family*, Leslie Keith Ralph Stanley And Clinch Mountain Boys* Featuring Bill Monroe, Reno-Harrell*, Jimmy Martin, Larry Sparks, Country Gentlemen*, Goins Bros*, Outdoor Plumbing Company*, Raymond Fairchild, Sullivan Family*, Marshall Family*, Leslie Keith - Live! At McClure, Virginia (Album) Rebel Records (3) GXF-6009, GFX-6010 Japan 1976 Sell This Version
C-1562 Ralph Stanley - Old Home Place album art Ralph Stanley Old Home Place (Album) Rebel Records (3) C-1562 US 1976 Sell This Version
T-8571 Ralph Stanley - Clinch Mountain Gospel album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Clinch Mountain Gospel (Album) Rebel Records (3) T-8571 US 1977 Sell This Version
SLP 1579 Ralph Stanley - Down Where The River Bends album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - Down Where The River Bends (Album) Rebel Records (3) SLP 1579 US 1978 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
LP A-201 Ralph Stanley - Hymn Time album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys* Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys* - Hymn Time (Album) Blue Jay Records (3) LP A-201 US 1980 Sell This Version
REB-1590 Ralph Stanley - I'll Wear A White Robe album art Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys Ralph Stanley And The Clinch Mountain Boys - I'll Wear A White Robe (Album) Rebel Records (3) REB-1590 US 1980 Sell This Version