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article imageBluegrass king Dr. Ralph Stanley dead at 89

By Markos Papadatos     Jun 23, 2016 in Music
It is with heavy heart that the bluegrass world mourns its patriarch. Dr. Ralph Stanley has passed away at 89 years old.
He died from difficulties with skin cancer. Stanley was born in Virginia, where he and his brother, Carter, formed the Stanley Brothers and their Clinch Mountain Boys in 1946. They went on to popularize the song "Man of Constant Sorrow," and they were influenced by musical pioneer Bill Monroe, who was affectionately known as "The Father of Bluegrass."
Ralph's brother Carter had died from liver disease in 1966, and ever since, he drew deeper from his bluegrass roots, and adopted an a cappella singing style in church. Stanley went on to mentor such acclaimed country artists as Keith Whitley and Grand Ole Opry star and multi-Grammy winner Ricky Skaggs.
In 1976, he was awarded an honorary doctorate, where he would be called "Dr. Ralph Stanley." 24 years later, in 2000, he became a member of the prestigious Grand Ole Opry. He won a Grammy for "Best Male Country Vocal Performance" for his a cappella rendition of "O Death," which was featured in the motion picture, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Charlie Daniels paid a tribute to Ralph on Twitter. "Rest in peace gentle Sir. We who love the music will never forget you," Daniels posted.
Digital Journal's interview with Dr. Ralph Stanley from April of 2015 may be seen by clicking here.
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