When you think of a legend in bluegrass music, who comes to mind? There is only one star that shines more than the rest, and that would be the legendary Dr. Ralph Stanley. He was born in Big Spraddle Creek, VA on February 25, 1927. Ralph was the child of Lucy Jane and Lee Stanley. He had an older brother named Carter. Ever since Ralph was a little boy, he was always thought to have a hundred-year-old mans voice.
Ralph and his older brother Carter formed the Stanley Brothers duo in 1946. The Stanley Brothers joined The Clinch Mountain Boys and became one of the most popular brother acts in Country Music. For twenty years the Stanley Brothers traveled together recording music. Until December 1st, 1966 Ralph’s brother Carter passed away, he was only forty-one years old. Ralph was really upset when his brother passed away, because they had become so close.
Support from friends, family, and fans made Ralph carry on with his music career even though Carter was ...view middle of the document...
The reason for aboveground tombs is because Carter’s wife Mary didn’t want to be put underground, so they brought Carter up. Ralph had seen a lot of loved ones pass on in his time.
Ralph’s mother had been with two other men before his father. Her first mans name was Gibson, he got killed in the mines. Her second mans name was Watson Rakes, he died from a tumor on his brain. Ralph’s father also had been with another women before his mother. Ralph has seven half siblings altogether. Three half brothers and four half sisters. Six of those kids belonged to his father. One girl belonged to his mother, her name is Ruby.
Ralph was told by Patty Loveless that her father died of a heart attack while listening to a Stanley Brothers album. Patty was one of Ralph’s favorite singers, she was raised by her father in Kentucky. Ralph has also met with Bob Dylan, they have sung a song together. Bob sent Ralph a telegram reminding him what he had to be thankful for. He said “Dear Dr. Ralph. The Fields Have Turned Brown. Not For You, Though. You‘ll Live Forever. Best Wishes, Bob Dylan.
Ralph and his wife jimmi had two daughters and one son. They also have a gang of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Everyone lives close by to each other, which gives Ralph peace to be back home and resting up from his tours. Ralph was past forty years old when him and jimmi got married. He was near fifty when they started to have children.
He always thought he’d never get to see his family grow up and have their own families. Ralph and his son Ralph II plus his son which is Ralph’s grandson Nathan all have been on the road together. That’s three generations of Stanley’s playing and traveling together on the road. Ralph also has a grandson named Ralph III and Evan. He calls Ralph III, Mr. Three because he wants him to feel important.
He also has three granddaughters who like to sing and dance. They are Ashley Hope and Alexis Faith which are twins and Taylor Brooke. Dr. Ralph Stanley and his family all live on Ralph Stanley Highway.
Ralph Stanley’s book “Man Of Constant Sorrow”