Bluegrass Musician, Ralph Stanley, Dies

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Ralph Stanley, one of the earliest pioneers of traditional bluegrass music, died June 23, 2016 at the age of 89. Dr. Stanley, who received an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University, died of complications from skin cancer.

Stanley, along with his brother, Carter, teamed up with their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946 and began to develop what is now known as bluegrass music through the adaptation of Appalachian folk music. Ralph Stanley played banjo; Carter Stanley, who passed away at a young age in 1966, played guitar. Stanley continued as a solo artist. He and the Clinch Mountain Boys played for most of the next 50 years. He and his band served as a mentor for such bluegrass artists as Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs.

Stanley¬†was a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Living Legends award. A coup in his career occurred when he appeared on two movie soundtracks, “O Brother, Where Art Thou,” and “Lawless.” He continued touring into his 80s.

Stanley is survived by his wife, three children, and many grandchildren and great grand-children. #RalphStanley #writing #amwriting #blogging

*Image by armadilo60 at Flickr.com 2009

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