Ralph Stanley was born in 1927 in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia. He learned to play the banjo as a child and, with his older brother, Carter, formed the Stanley Brothers Band in 1947.
They achieved success through radio airplay, working many years out of Bristol Virginia. With the advent of the folk music scene in the 1960’s, they began touring college campuses. When Carter Stanley died of cancer in 1966, Ralph decided to keep the band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, going with much the same sound and repetoire. This band has many well known alumni, including Ricky Skaggs. Ralph Stanley has been an inspiration to many musicians and is cited as an influence by Bob Dylan.
He has recorded more than 150 albums, performed at two presidential inaugurations, been awarded an honorary doctorate degree, was nominated for five grammys in five years, is an inductee in the International Bluegrass Music Association Hall of Honor, and a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
He continues to perform and record the traditional bluegrass music that made the Stanley Brothers stars more than fifty years ago.