Social Icons

Social Connect

Ralph Stanley

  • Birthplace: McClure, Virginia
  • Birthday: February 25
Date of passing: 
June 23, 2016

Ralph Stanley was a musician best known for contributing to and popularizing bluegrass music. He was featured on the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which won album of the year at the 2002 Grammy Awards), as well as the films Cold Mountain, Transamerica and 2012’s Lawless.

His music was also heard on the soundtrack for the television show Big Love, an episode of the documentary series Independent Lens, as well as the music performance series The Marty Stuart Show, which he also appeared on.

He and his brother Carter Stanley formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. They learned traditional Appalachian songs from their parents, then created distinct three-part harmonies with their bandmate Pee Wee Lambert.

They popularized the songs “Man of Constant Sorrow,” “Mountain Dew,” “Little Maggie” and “Angel Band.” Stanley’s rendition of “O Death” on the Where Art Thou? soundtrack earned him a Grammy Award in 2002 in the category of best male country vocal performance, prevailing over Tim McGraw, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett in the process.

Ralph Stanley was a musician best known for contributing to and popularizing bluegrass music. He was featured on the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which won album of the year at the 2002 Grammy Awards), as well as the films Cold Mountain, Transamerica and 2012’s Lawless.

His music was also heard on the soundtrack for the television show Big Love, an episode of the documentary series Independent Lens, as well as the music performance series The Marty Stuart Show, which he also appeared on.

He and his brother Carter Stanley formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. They learned traditional Appalachian songs from their parents, then created distinct three-part harmonies with their bandmate Pee Wee Lambert.

They popularized the songs “Man of Constant Sorrow,” “Mountain Dew,” “Little Maggie” and “Angel Band.” Stanley’s rendition of “O Death” on the Where Art Thou? soundtrack earned him a Grammy Award in 2002 in the category of best male country vocal performance, prevailing over Tim McGraw, Ryan Adams, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Lyle Lovett in the process.

In 1976 he received an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, and was often introduced as "Dr. Ralph Stanley."

He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000 and continued to record and tour into his eighties, often performing with his son Ralph Stanley II on guitar and his grandson Nathan on mandolin.

Stanley died June 23, 2016, in Coeburn, Virginia. He was 89.

 

Show more

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

0 Wins0 Nominations