Newswire: R.I.P. bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley

Multiple outlets are reporting that Ralph Stanley, one of the last surviving members of the first generation of American bluegrass singers, has died. Stanley, 86, was one of the most honored men in the field of country and folk music, receiving three Grammys, numerous hall of fame inductions, and recognition as a “Living Legend” by the U.S. Library Of Congress.

Born in Southwest Virginia in 1927, Stanley started playing banjo at the age of 15, after a childhood picking up old church songs like “Man Of Constant Sorrow” from his devout father. After a brief stint in the Army, he partnered up with his brother, Carter, to form the Stanley Brothers, and the pair would tour and play together, backed by their Clinch Mountain Boys band, off and on for the next 20 years. (The band was forced to briefly disband in the early ’50s, with the brothers taking …

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