Dr. Ralph Stanley performs at Grass Valley, Ca...
Dr. Ralph Stanley performs at Grass Valley, California (2006). drralphstanley.com/index.shtml (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may or may not know I like Bluegrass Banjo music and actually hack at playing  the 5 string Banjo. I am not very good…but I am very loud 🙂

I am now a fan of Ralph Stanley. (1/2 of the Stanley Brothers)

Recently I was listening to my Earl Scruggs Station on Pandora. They also mix in other suggested songs/artist on occasion. The other day they played a song named Row Hoe that I really liked.

So…I bought the 3 CD Ralph Stanley Album and have been listening to it on the way to work and on the way home.

Musical style

Stanley created a unique style of banjo playing, sometimes called “Stanley style”. It evolved from Scruggs style, which is a three-finger technique. “Stanley style” is distinguished by incredibly fast “forward rolls”, led by the index finger, sometimes in the higher registers using a capo. In “Stanley style”, the rolls of the banjo are continuous, while being picked fairly close the bridge on the banjo, giving the tone of the instrument a very crisp, articulate snap to the strings as the player would strike them.

Well I am now a huge fan or Ralph Stanley.

Here is a link to listen to the Row Hoe song I liked so much.


From his Wikipedia page:

Honors, awards, distinctions

  • He’s known in the world of bluegrass music by the popular title, “Dr. Ralph Stanley” after being awarded an honorary Doctorate of Music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, in 1976.
  • He was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1992 and in 2000.
  • He became the first person to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in the third millennium.
  • His work was featured in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, in which he sings the Appalachian dirge “O Death.”
    • That song won him a 2002 Grammy Award in the category of Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
  • The Virginia Press Association made him their Distinguished Virginian of the Year in 2004.
  • The Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center opened in Clintwood, Virginia in 2004.
  • He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2006, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
  • The Virginia legislature designated him the Outstanding Virginian of 2008.
  • He was awarded the Key to the City of Garner, North Carolina on November 15, 2008
  • He was named a Library of Congress Living Legend in April 2000