Three-time GRAMMY Award winner and International Bluegrass Hall of Honor inductee Dr. Ralph Stanley is a true American musical icon who, at 87 years old, continues to be embraced by fans of all generations.
Born in 1927 in Big Spraddle, Va., Ralph Stanley learned to play banjo from his mother. After graduating high school and serving in the U.S. Army, he joined older brother Carter in creating the Clinch Mountain Boys. They began performing on local radio stations and at regional venues.
After Columbia Records signed them, they become known as The Stanley Brothers and went on to record such classics as “Angel Band,” “Little Maggie” and their signature tune, “Man of Constant Sorrow.” He developed a unique style of playing the banjo that became known as “Stanley style.”
In 1976, Stanley received an honorary doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn., and he has been known as “Dr. Ralph Stanley” ever since.