Ralph Edmund Stanley (born February 25, 1927), also known as Dr. Ralph Stanley, is an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing.
Ralph Edmond Stanley was born, grew up, and lives today in rural Southwest Virginia—"in a little town called McClure at a place called Big Spraddle, just up the holler" from where he moved in 1936 and has lived ever since in Dickenson County. The son of Lee and Lucy Stanley, Ralph did not grow up around a lot of music in his home. As he says, his "daddy didn't play an instrument, but sometimes he would sing church music. And I'd hear him sing songs like 'Man of Constant Sorrow,' 'Pretty Polly' and 'Omie Wise.'"
He learned to play the banjo, clawhammer style, from his mother:
He graduated from high school on May 2, 1945 and was inducted into the Army on May 16, serving "little... Read more