Remembering Ralph Stanley on Viking Twang

Written by on June 28, 2016

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Viking Twang Episode 91 6-28-2016
Good morning, welcome to Viking Twang Episode 91. My name is Randy Black, happy to be here yet again on a Tuesday morning.

As you know, Ralph Stanley, the last of the great pioneers of bluegrass, passed away last Tuesdayat the age of 89. Along with Bill Monroe and Flatt & Scruggs, he and his brother Carter were the trinity of bluegrass, although Ralph never liked the term. So we’ll play plenty of his mountain music today.

The first set, we’ll play the Stanleys early in their career, in 1949 on the WYCB Bristol Farm and Fun Time radio show, The second set will have songs from a session they recorded for King Records in 1959, and we’ll finish with a sets from the Friends of the Old time concerts in the early1960s, and from legendary bluegrass DJ Ray Davis’ Wango Records.

Here’s Carter, kicking things off, with Carter on lead vocals and guitar, Ralph on banjo, Curley Lambert on mandolin, and Leslie Keith on fiddle.

1 – Turkey Red, W.C. Beck & the Portland Country Underground.
2 – Old Joe Clark.
3 – White House Blues.
4 – Standing in the Need of Prayer.
5 – The Jealous Lover.
6 – Goodbye Old Pal.
7 – Just One Way to the Pearly Gate.

This next set comes from one of the busiest times in the Stanley Brothers’ career, when they recorded for Starday and King records. This is from a session recorded on Sept, 15, 1959, in the King Studios in Cincinnati, with Bill Napier on mandolin and George Schuffler on bass.

8 – Old Rattler.
9 — I’m A Man of Constant Sorrow.
10 – Lonely Tombs,
11 – Over In The Glory Land,
12 – How Far To Little Rock; considered their one popular radio hit.

The final set comes from two places you may not have heard before. The first five are from recordings made by the legendary bluegrass disc jockey, Ray Davis, who was a long time friend and promoter of the Stanley Brothers. Ray recorded these in his basement for his own Wango Records; I got them as a premium for joining WAMU’s Bluegrass Country. The next three are from the Friends of Old Time concerts in the 1960s, and we conclude with Ralph, on his own, from his self-titled 2002 album.

13 – Wild and Reckless Hobo
14 – Train 45
15 – In The Pines
16 – The Dreams of a Miner’s Child.
17 – Life’s Railway to Heaven.
18 – Have A Feast Here Tonight.
19—Mansions for Me.
20 – Hard Times
21 – Calling You
22 – Twang Theme; Countrypolitans.

Playlist:

Track

Artist

Album

  • Turkey Red
    W.C. Beck & the Portland Country Underground
    Kansawyer
  • Old Joe Clark
    The Stanley Brothers
    Live Again! WCYB Bristol Fun & Farm Time
  • White House Blues
    The Stanley Brothers
    Live Again! WCYB Bristol Fun & Farm Time
  • Standing In The Need Of Prayer
    The Stanley Brothers
    Live Again! WCYB Bristol Fun & Farm Time
  • The Jealous Lover
    The Stanley Brothers
    Live Again! WCYB Bristol Fun & Farm Time
  • Goodbye Old Pal
    The Stanley Brothers
    Live Again! WCYB Bristol Fun & Farm Time
  • Just One Way To The Pearly Gate
    The Stanley Brothers
    Live Again! WCYB Bristol Fun & Farm Time
  • Old Rattler
    The Stanley Brothers
    The Early King & Starday Years 1958-1961
  • I'm A Man of Constant Sorrow
    The Stanley Brothers
    The Early King & Starday Years 1958-1961
  • Lonely Tombs
    The Stanley Brothers
    The Early King & Starday Years 1958-1961
  • Over In The Glory Land
    The Stanley Brothers
    The Early King & Starday Years 1958-1961
  • How Far To Little Rock
    The Stanley Brothers
    The Early King & Starday Years 1958-1961
  • Wild And Reckless Hobo
    The Stanley Brothers
    Freight Train Special
  • Train 45
    The Stanley Brothers
    Freight Train Special
  • In The Pines
    The Stanley Brothers
    Freight Train Special
  • Life's Railway To Heaven
    The Stanley Brothers
    Freight Train Special
  • The Dream of the Miner's Child
    The Stanley Brothers
    Friends of Old Time Music
  • Have A Feast Here Tonight
    The Stanley Brothers
    Friends of Old Time Music
  • Mansions for Me
    The Stanley Brothers
    Friends of Old Time Music
  • Hard Times
    The Stanley Brothers
    Friends of Old Time Music
  • Calling You
    Ralph Stanley
    Ralph Stanley
  • Twang Theme
    Countrypolitans
    Tired of Drowning

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