Stanley Ralph

Born February 25, 1927, in Stratton, Virginia, Ralph Stanley and his older brother Carter formed the s inal bluegrass ensembles the Stanley Brothers and The Clinch Mountain Boys which became two of the most celebrated bluegrass groups in the world. The music was inspired by their Virginia mountain home and encouraged by their mother, who taught Ralph the claw-hammer style of banjo picking. As a recording artist, he has since performed on more than 170 albums, tapes, and CDs. While he has long been revered by enthusiasts of folk, bluegrass, and country music, Stanley has also received international acclaim. He is a Bluegrass Hall of Fame member; in 2000 he was inducted into the historic Grand Ole Opry. In 2002, he won Grammys for Best Country Male Vocalist and Album of the Year (for his part in the O Brother, Where Art Thou? film soundtrack). He holds the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and was the first recipient of the Traditional American Music award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Stanley still lives near the place where he was born in a mountainous, tucked-away corner close to the rugged Virginia-Tennessee border. It is his secluded retreat from the rigors of the road and the 150 to 200 shows he continues to do each year.