20 Facts About Ralph Stanley


Ralph Edmund Stanley was an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing.


Ralph Stanley was part of the first generation of bluegrass musicians and was inducted into both the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor and the Grand Ole Opry.


The son of Lee and Lucy Stanley, Ralph did not grow up around a lot of music in his home.


Ralph Stanley learned to play the banjo, clawhammer style, from his mother:.


Ralph Stanley had 11 brothers and sisters, and all of them could play the five-string banjo.


Ralph Stanley played gatherings around the neighborhood, like bean stringin's.


Ralph Stanley tuned it up for me and played this tune, "Shout Little Luly," and I tried to play it like she did.

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The Ralph Stanley Brothers joined King Records in the late '50s, a record company so eclectic that it included James Brown at the time.


James Brown and his band were in the studio when the Ralph Stanley Brothers recorded "Finger Poppin' Time".


Ralph Stanley kept the band name when he continued as a solo act after Carter's death, from 1967 until his death in 2016.


Ralph Stanley decided to go it alone, eventually reviving The Clinch Mountain Boys.


Ralph Stanley was known in the world of bluegrass music by the popular title, "Dr Ralph Stanley", having been awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Lincoln Memorial University of Harrogate, Tennessee in 1976.


Ralph 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.


Ralph Stanley was featured in the Josh Turner hit song "Me and God" released in 2006.


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".


In 2012, Ralph Stanley was featured on several tracks of the soundtrack for Nick Cave's film Lawless, with music by Cave and Warren Ellis.


Ralph Stanley maintained an active touring schedule; appearances in his later years included the 2012 Muddy Roots Music Festival in Cookeville, Tennessee, and the 2013 FreshGrass Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts.


On June 23,2016, Ralph Stanley died at age 89 as a result of skin cancer.


Ralph Stanley created a unique style of banjo playing, sometimes called "Ralph Stanley style".