The Stanley BrothersMarch 06, 2012
The Stanley Brothers
(Singer, Songwriter, Guitar)
Date of Birth: August 27, 1925Married: Mary Magdalene Kiser Children: Carter, William, Bobby, Doris, Jeannie Date of Death: December 1, 1966 Ralph Stanley
(Singer, Songwriter, Banjo)
Date of Birth: December 1, 1926Place of Birth: Stratton, VirginiaMarried: 1. Peggy (div.), 2.Jimmie Crabtree Children: Timothy, Lisa Joy, Tonya, Ralph II Formed: 1946 The Stanley Brothers (Dickenson County, Virginia)The Stanley Brothers rank as one of the four greats of Bluegrass and are also the most recorded of the early Bluegrass acts. Born in Dickenson County, Virginia in the Clinch Mountains, they had a singing father and Old-Time banjo-picking mother. By the early 1940’s, the brothers were entertaining the neighborhood, but both went into the service right after high school, during WWII. After they both got out of the service, they formed the Stanley Brothers. After two months at the local WNVA in Norton, Virginia they went to WCYB in Bristol and soon attained popularity on the Farm and Fun Time program. They started their recording career with their group, the Clinch Mountain Boys, with Rich-R-Tone in Johnson City, Tennessee in 1947. They recorded on Mercury for five years beginning in August, 1953.
In 1958, the Stanley Brothers switched to Starday and King and transferred their base to Live Oak, Florida and the Suwanee River Jamboree. For about four years, they prospered, doing TV shows for Jim Walter Homes throughout Florida, Georgia and Alabama. They recorded extensively for King, but after 1961 began to experience difficult times as opportunities for a hard-core Bluegrass group appeared to wane. They were unable to keep a full band and found work at a few parks and clubs. Unfortunately, Carter Stanley’s health rapidly declined in 1966 and he died at only 41 years of age.
After weeks of indecision, Ralph decided to go ahead with a new Clinch Mountain Boys band and fortunately, Bluegrass festivals became more popular. Ralph has been very active in recording studios. Beginning in 1970, he initiated a long series of albums on the Rebel label that lasted over 20 years and has resulted in 25 releases so far. In 1984, he was honored by President Reagan as a National Heritage Fellow. Lincoln Memorial University awarded him an honorary doctorate and the title "Dr. Ralph Stanley" is often used in stage introductions.
Country Pickin’ and Singin’ (album) The Stanley Brothers (album) Stanley Series (album) Old Time Music (album) Lonesome and Blue (album)