Posted by: Larry Royce | June 25, 2016

Ralph Stanley RIP

It’s hard to know what to say about legends in our industry. Accurately describing the importance of their contributions – and lifetime commitment – to bluegrass and traditional music is nearly impossible. This evening, one of the true founding fathers of this seventy-some year old musical genre, the International Bluegrass Hall of Honor and Grand Ole Opry member Ralph Edmund Stanley, has passed. He was 89 years of age and his family has indicated that he passed peacefully in his sleep after suffering from skin cancer.

His musical importance cannot be overemphasized. Stanley was one of the few artists of any genre whose music had a significant impact on several generations of listeners. While some will remember the legacy of his work alongside his late brother, Carter Stanley, from the mid-1940s through the mid-1960s, others discovered Stanley’s music more recently, as his associations with the folk and Americana world grew thanks to the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and work with Jim Lauderdale, among others. Still yet another group of fans will remember him most vividly from the early decades of his solo career, when alongside Roy Lee Centers, Curly Ray Cline, Jack Cooke, and others, he churned out album after album of mountain-tinged bluegrass, forever associating songs like Little Maggie, Pretty Polly, and Clinch Mountain Backstep with the Stanley name and sound.

Much of Stanley’s story has become part of the story of bluegrass, and as such, is well-known by even more casual fans. Born in 1927 in Big Spraddle Creek, Virginia, located in the far southwest corner of the state in Dickenson County, his mother Lucy taught him to play clawhammer style banjo when he was a young teenager. Older brother Carter was musically gifted as well, and upon Ralph’s discharge from the United States Army in 1946, the two joined together and began playing their own version of Bill Monroe’s recently created bluegrass music (though it wouldn’t be called that for at least another decade) on local and regional radio stations. Together, the Stanley Brothers helped form a sound that would ultimately become a style all its own – the Clinch Mountain sound.

Ralph Stanley teaches a workshop at the Berkshire Mountains Festival in 1980 – photo by Fred RobbinsThough Carter’s excellent songwriting and smooth lead vocals formed a core part of the Clinch Mountain sound, its difference from the music being played by Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, and other contemporaries arguably stemmed from Ralph. His driving, arpeggiated banjo style, led with the index finger instead of the thumb, and now known widely as “Stanley style,” was (in the minds of many) as important to the development of bluegrass as the banjo itself. His singing, too, long set him apart from other bluegrass artists. For many years, he spoke of singing in the old-time mountain way. Influenced by his upbringing in the Primitive Baptist Church, both his lead and tenor vocals carried a sense of mournfulness and were different from other artists of the day. He brought unadorned Gospel music to bluegrass, recording many of the mountain hymns he grew up singing, such as Bright Morning Stars. He became strongly identified with this sound, in part thanks to the chilling, a capella rendition of O Death that became his trademark song in recent years.

Since the year 2000 and the release of the film O Brother Where Art Thou, Stanley’s career had enjoyed a new illumination. The movie’s hugely popular soundtrack, which earned Stanley a Grammy thanks to his contribution of O Death (a new cut of a song he had originally recorded as part of the Stanley Brothers), brought his music to an entirely new audience. During the same time, Stanley ensured that the Clinch Mountain sound was also passed down to new generations of his family, as son Ralph Stanley II moved on from the Clinch Mountain Boys to front his own band, and grandson Nathan Stanley performed as part of the Clinch Mountain Boys for several years, as well.

Ralph Stanley receives an honorary doctorate from Yale President Peter Salovey in 2014 – photo by Michael Marsland (Yale University)You could spend hours listing all the awards Stanley won over the course of his seventy-year career as a professional musician. Grammies, IBMA awards, Halls of Fame, a National Heritage Fellowship in the 1980s, the National Medal of Arts in 2006. The well-known honorary doctorate from Lincoln Memorial University, lending him the moniker of Dr. Ralph Stanley since 1976, as well as the more recent honorary doctorate from Yale University in 2014. You could talk all day about his signature songs, spend weeks listening to the albums he has recorded or contributed to. Though it wasn’t without its share of hard times and struggles, Stanley lived a life that was completely full of the music he loved.

The lines of one of Stanley’s most iconic numbers ask, “Will you miss me when I’m gone?” Yes, we will miss him. We’ll miss the stoic figure on stage, hands clasped at his waist, preparing to sing the sorrowful lines of Man of Constant Sorrow. We’ll miss the crack of his arch top banjo, kicking off Clinch Mountain Backstep or switching to clawhammer style for some of our favorite tunes. We’ll miss that Clinch Mountain sound. Like all legends, however, his memory and legacy will continue through the many lives he has touched, from former and current Clinch Mountain Boys to fans alike. Thankfully, his musical legacy will live on through Ralph II’s leadership of the Clinch Mountain Boys, and the hundreds of Stanley songs that have become standards at back porch jams, on new recordings, and at concerts every day.

R.I.P., Ralph Stanley.

From Bluegrass Today

Posted by: Larry Royce | April 14, 2016

Anybody Have a Theory?

On Monday April 11 this site had an all-time number of hits, 91.

This comes 3 weeks after I announced that I was discontinuing the show.

Unfortunately, I can’t track where the hits are coming from, but it would be interesting to know.

Thanks for listening.

BTW
Rhonda Vincent is playing tonight at the Sellersville Theater.

Posted by: Larry Royce | April 5, 2016

Bluegrass Unlimited Magazines

Hi Folks,

I started cleaning out my closets to downsize for the future.

I have about 20 plus years worth of Bluegrass Unlimited Magazines. I would like to get something for them, ($), however my experience in the bluegrass world has been that it’s hard to get anybody to either donate to a bluegrass show or buy bluegrass related material.

If somebody wants them for either their own enjoyment, from a historical viewpoint, or has a bluegrass library where others can learn from them, please let me know.

Thanks,

Larry

P.S.
You pay the shipping costs!!

Posted by: Larry Royce | March 28, 2016

Sanctuary: Thanks for the Memories!

To my listeners:

This message is bittersweet for me, however after 21 years it’s time to end Sanctuary.

Due to lack of interest and/or ANY feedback from any of the affiliates and listeners plus my own fatigue and disappointment with it’s reception it’s time to end the program.  Some stations have dropped the program without even telling me, even though it was free and there were no obligations financially or otherwise.  Plus the lack of traffic to my website and not one donation in over a year, have all added to my decision.

I always believed it was a ministry to evangelize, inspire and entertain but its time has passed with the advent of Sirius/XM and multiple choices on the internet.

Feel free to listen to archived shows until the site goes dark.

Blessings,

Larry Royce

Posted by: Larry Royce | March 26, 2016

SANCTUARY 1316

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Hi Folks,

Another new show for you and please remember that donations areaways appreciated.

Thanks for listening.

SANCTUARY 1316

INTRO

I HAVE FOUND THE WAY LONESOME RIVER BAND

MY MAIN TRIAL IS YET TO COME RALPH STANLEY

TALK

NOAH & THE MIGHTY ARK GARY WALDREP

LIFE BEYOND DEATH GILLIS BROTHERS

WHAT A WONDERFUL SAVIOR HE IS GIBSON BROTHERS

TALK

TALK

EVERY STEP EVERY MILE JERRY & TAMMY SULLIVAN

WALKIN MY LORD UP CALVARY’S HILL RHONDA VINCENT

TALK

I FIND JESUS NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND

WORKIN’ ON A BUILDING HOT RIZE

TALK

TALK

REST FOR HIS WORKERS BRANDON RICKMAN

CARRY ME ISAACS

TALK

SOMEWHERE TONIGHT PATHWAY

THE LIVING GOD COCKMAN FAMILY

TALK

TALK

THE GOOD OLD DAYS EASTER BROTHERS

HERE TODAY GONE TOMORROW JEFF TOLBERT

TALK

FEED ME JESUS III’RD TYME OUT

GOD’S PLAN LOU REID

OUTRO

Posted by: Larry Royce | March 20, 2016

SANCTUARY 1216

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SANCTUARY 1216
INTRO
A WISE MAN’S MIND BOBBY OSBORNE
ANGEL BAND RALPH STANLEY & CHELY WRIGHT
TALK
I BELIEVE DAILEY & VINCENT
SINGING AS WE RISE GIBSON BROTHERS
TALK

TALK
YOU’VE BEEN AN INSPIRATION TO ME DOYLE LAWSON
LORD HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL LOU REID
TALK
MOTHER TAUGHT ME TO PRAY JIM EANES
BOAT OF LOVE JIM LAUDERDALE & RALPH STANLEY
HEAVENLY HIGHWAY WILSON BROTHERS
TALK

TALK
GOODBYE LAWSON,CROWE & WILLIAMS
WAYFARIN’ STRANGER CHARLIE MOORE
TALK
WORTHY NEW ROAD
LITTLE BLACK TRAIN NEW COON CREEK GIRLS
SEA OF GALILEE PINE MT RAILROAD
TALK

TALK
WELCOME HOME MT FAITH
LORD I HEAR YOU’RE CALL NOTHIN’ FANCY
TALK
ONE MORE CHANCE LORD KENNY & AMANDA SMITH
TALK
IF I BE LIFTED UP KENTUCKY COLONELS
THE OLD COUNTRY CHURCH DARREN BEACHLEY
OUTRO

Posted by: Larry Royce | March 11, 2016

SANCTUARY 1116

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SANCTUARY 1116
INTRO
WHERE I STAND MARTY RAYBON
YOU’RE DRIFTING AWAY WARRIOR RIVER BOYS
TALK
THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME RICKY SKAGGS
THE PALE HORSE AND HIS RIDER LONGVIEW
TALK

TALK
IT’S GONNA RAIN THE NEW COON CREEK GIRLS
WALKIN’ IN JERUSALEM THE WHITES
TALK
GO DOWN YONDER MOSES EDDIE & MARTHA ADCOCK
CABIN ON THE HILL FLATT & SCRUGGS
OLD SATAN JIM EANES
TALK

TALK
THE BUCKLE OF THE BIBLE BELT DOYLE LAWSON
I’M GOING TO MAKE HEAVEN MY HOME LOST & FOUND
TALK
SEEDS VALERIE SMITH
JOHN IN THE JORDAN LOU REID
LIVING IN THE NAME OF LOVE CLAIRE LYNCH
TALK

TALK
GOD’S NOT DEAD JOHN BOWMAN
GONNA GET THERE SOON CLASSIC COUNTRY GENTLEMEN
TALK
WHEN THE ROLL IS CALLED UP YONDER RED MOLLY
WHEN THE ANGELS SING RHONDA VINCENT
THE LOVELY RISING SUN THE MARSHALL FAMILY
OUTRO

Posted by: Larry Royce | March 4, 2016

SANCTUARY 1016

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SANCTUARY 1016
INTRO
GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD ADKINS & LOUDERMILK
WHEN I COME HOME TRINITY RIVER BAND
TALK
BEYOND THE SUNSET FOR ME DOYLE LAWSON
LETTER TO GRANDPA PINE MOUNTAIN RAILROAD
TALK

TALK
I’M WORKING ON A ROAD THE BASS MOUNTAIN BOYS
THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE EMMYLOU HARRIS
TALK
THE LIGHT LAURIE LEWIS
JERUSALEM TO JERICHO RESCUE JUNCTION
TALK

TALK
HELPING HAND MOUNTAIN FAITH
CRYIN’ HOLY THE BLUEGRASS GOSPEL PROJECT
TALK
WHERE WILL YOU BUILD PAUL WILLIAMS & CLIFF WALDRON
SAFETY ZONE THE RARELY HERD
LITTLE COMMUNITY CHURCH BOONE CREEK
TALK

TALK
DOWN THE ROAD TO GLORYLAND LONESOME STANDARD TIME
A FEW MORE YEARS LONGVIEW
TALK
LIGHT AT THE RIVER III’RD TYME OUT
HE WILL DONNA ULISSE
OUTRO

Posted by: Larry Royce | February 28, 2016

SANCTUARY 0916

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SANCTUARY 0916
INTRO
GREAT SPECKLED BIRD LARRY STEPHENSON
I HAVE FOUND A WAY GIBSON BROTHERS
TALK
THE LITTLE OLD CHURCH BY THE ROAD MONROE CROSSING
WEAPON OF PRAYER NEWFOUND ROAD
TALK

TALK
MY FOOT IS ON THE ROCK RANDY WALLER
I CAN GO TO THEM FORBES FAMILY
TALK
WHEN WE’RE GONE LONG GONE MARK NEWTON & JOHN STARLING
THE SAVIOR’S LOVE DOYLE LAWSON
TALK

TALK
CIRCUIT RIDER NOTHIN’ FANCY
THESE MEN OF GOD COUNTRY GENTLEMEN
TALK
SUNDAY MORNING SINGING BLUEGRASS CARDINALS
GET IN THE BOAT JOE ISAACS
FAMILY BIBLE OSBORNE BROTHERS
TALK

TALK
BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD MAC WISEMAN
LOVE BEYOND LYNN MORRIS
TALK
A BRAND NEW SONG LARRY SPARKS
WHEN IT’S ALL SAID AND DONE SHAWN LANE
OUTRO

Posted by: Larry Royce | February 20, 2016

SANCTUARY 0816

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SANCTUARY 0816
INTRO
THERE’S A HIGHER POWER MOUNTAIN HEART
FOREVER CONTENTED BARRY SCOTT
TALK
TRAVELER CHERRYHOLMES
I’M REDEEMED DOYLE LAWSON
TALK

TALK
ROCK FOUNDATION BLUERIDGE
KEEP ON THE FIRING LINE COCKMAN FAMILY
TALK
THE LINE IN BETWEEN DAVE EVANS
WHEN THE ANGELS SING RHONDA VINCENT
TALK

TALK
THE HEAVENLY LIGHT GOINS BROTHERS
THE GOSPEL ROAD DANIEL CRABTREE
TALK
IT MOVES ME DARREN & BROOK ALDRIDGE
MY WHOLE WORLD LOU REID
TALK

TALK
BAPTISM OF JESSE TAYLOR LOST & FOUND
DANIEL PRAYED STANLEY BROTHERS
SHINE DRY BRANCH
TALK
THE ANGELS REJOICED DOLLY PARTON & SONJA ISAACS
TRAIN THAT’S COMING PINE MT RAILROAD
OUTRO

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