All posts tagged: Ralph Stanley

Ralph Stanley Memoir: The Man of Constant Sorrow

An American treasure – Dr. Ralph Stanley – has just released a memoir entitled Man of Constant Sorrow:  My Life and Times. Many people came to know Stanley through his haunting rendition of O Death in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  But longtime bluegrass and old-time music fans know of Stanley from his days with his late brother Carter when they performed some of the most moving music ever heard from the mountains of Virginia. Mother Jones online has a good review of the book.  Here’s an excerpt of Stanley talking about his childhood: “There were no books I can recall, save for the family Bible,” he says of the home place. “There wasn’t much in the way of toys and playthings like children have today. My parents wouldn’t allow even a deck of playing cards in the house, because it could lead to gambling and all kinds of trouble. For Christmas, we’d get an orange, one for Carter and one for me, and a handful of rock candy. Maybe a cap-gun, too. …

Preservation Roots Music

I’m headed to Nashville this week for the National Preservation Conference where we’re sure to hear great preservation stories and good music.  Putting the two together, I have collected some Americana and roots music for the conference staff to use prior to the Opening Plenary. I kick off the set with the Martha White Theme (just seemed appropriate given the setting).  However, finding preservation-based roots music can be tough.  Most country songs that mention “home” generally deal with the loss of mother and dad or a true love – but not too much about the loss of the actual building.  So most are instrumentals.  The set does include that preservation bluegrass classic The Old Home Place by J.D. Crowe and the New South.  However, my favorite is the Jim Lauderdale/Ralph Stanley Highway Through My Home. In honor of the Overton Park (Memphis) and 710 Freeway (California) battles…and so many more…click on the video below and enjoy. More to come… DJB