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CARTER STANLEY (August 27,1925-Dec 1, 1966) and RALPH STANLEY (born February 25, 1927), after their discharge from the armed services in World War II, started their bluegrass career in 1946 with live radio broadcasts on WYCB, Bristol, TN.

Their 1947 recording sessions for Rich-R-Tone in Bristol led to a major-label contract with Columbia in 1949.

Carter Stanley subsequently joined Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys as lead guitar player, while Ralph abandoned music altogether for a while, until the two brothers reunited in 1953, cutting sides for Mercury Records Nashville Division.

The Stanley Brothers became very popular on the folk revival college and club circuit, appearing at the 1959 and 1964 Newport Folk Festivals. Following Carter Stanley's death, Ralph Stanley kept their music alive with his Clinch Mountain Boys.


Likely source of the following songs covered by Dylan:


December 12, 1997

Bob Dylan Joins Ralph Stanley on "Lonesome River"

Nashville, TN - Rock icon Bob Dylan recently flew in from LA to record the song "Lonesome River" with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley. Dylan, a long-time fan of Stanley, is one out of the estimated 36 artists who will be appearing on Stanley's new CD colllection, tentatively scheduled for an April '98 release. Also among the artists appearing are Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam, Kathy Mattea, Ricky Skaggs and George Jones, who re-cut his now classic "The Window Up Above" as a duet with Ralph. Two artists remain to be recorded, and are slated to be in the studio in mid-December.


From: drw@planetc.com (don wiley)
Subject: Re: Bob and Ralph Stanley
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 22:13:50 GMT

On 8 May 1998 21:51:14 GMT, jrbts@tuna.net (Joel Roberts) wrote:

Just got an advance copy of "Clinch Mountain Country" featuring Bob singing beautifully with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley on "The Lonesome River." Bob is quoted in the press kit as saying "This is the highlight of my career."

This is a truly essential 2 CD set of Stanley singing classic bluegrass with the likes of George Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Kraus, BR5-49, and lots of other country/bluegrass stars. Highly recommended...

Folks, get this thing and DIG IT!!! I've been listening to Ralph Stanley for many years, and he has never sounded better.

Yesterday, on the Johnson City college station, the lead guitar player for the Clinch Mountain Boys, James Alan Shelton, from near by Church Hill (that's Tennessee) was interviewed, and he talked some about Bob. He was an earwitness to Bob's comment that recording with Ralph was the highlight of his career.

From the liner notes

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CDnow's Country/Folk section!

Ralph Stanley and his music have influenced three generations of bluegrass musicians, but the impact does not stop there. Stanley's admirers range from Dwight Yoakam and Vince Gill who states, "Ralph is one of those truly great people in music that had an impact" to rock legends Bob Dylan and the late Jerry Garcia, the founder of the Grateful Dead.

To the casual listener, one might not even be aware of Stanley's influence, but it is present. Throughout his own career, Dylan,a long-time scholar of all types of traditional music, has often talked about the important effect Stanley, Bill Monroe, Hank Williams and other early country performers have had on his own life. Says Dylan in a 1997 Newsweek interview,

"Songs like 'Let Me Rest on a Peaceful Mountain' or 'I Saw the Light'--that's my religion...The songs are my lexicon. I believe the songs."
In his own song writing, Dylan has drawn from traditional folk elements which often link directly to Stanley's style of music.

"The Lonesome River", recorded by Stanley and Dylan:

"That's the first time it has ever been done as a duet," says Ralph Stanley of his recording of "The Lonesome River" with Bob Dylan. Since the original Stanley Brothers' recording of the song for Columbia in 1950, it has always been performed by the Clinch Mountain Boys as a trio.

The November 30, 1997 session marks the first time Dylan has recorded in Nashville since his 1969 album "Nashville Skyline". Adds Ralph: "My wife, Jimmie, thinks its the best thing on the whole project. I think Bob does an excellent job."

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