Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Midweek Time Killers: Ralph Stanley Then and Now

Tomorrow, October 15th, Ralph Stanley's autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times will be released. Ralph Stanley wrote the book with Eddie Dean, who I often, and with much respect, refer to as the King of White Trash Writers. Today, the New York Times ran this review of the book.

Back before Stanley broke out to a widespread, non-bluegrass audience thanks to his version of "Oh Death" being featured in the Coen brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Stanley was still just a founding father of bluegrass. That was Stanley's status in 1995 when Rebel Records released Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys 1971-1973, a four CD box set which chronicled some of Stanley's most productive years as a recording artist after his brother Carter's death in 1966. In December 1995, The Washington City Paper ran this review and brief Stanley bio which was also written by Eddie Dean. If you're not planning on reading the new Stanley autobiography, and most of you probably aren't, you should at least take a few minutes to read Dean's City Paper piece for an interesting look at an American legend.

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