From July 13 through Jan. 6, 2019, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville will honor Appalachian Mountain musician Ralph Stanely with an exhibit titled Ralph Stanley: Voice from on High.
Stanley’s career began in 1946 in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia where he sang and played the banjo alongside his older brother, Carter Stanley. The two formed the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys band. When Carter passed away in 1966, Ralph took over as band leader, and his career began to build.
In 1984, Ralph Stanley was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1992, he was inducted into the Bluegrass Hall of Fame. He gained widespread notoriety in 2000 when he recorded “O Death” for the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, which earned him a Grammy. The same year, he was welcomed into the Grand Ole Opry family.
“Stanley’s unique style and distinctive tenor broke new ground in bluegrass, and he became a standard-bearer for country music’s Appalachian folk roots,” Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement. “He has influenced iconic musicians including Country Music Hall of Fame member Emmylou Harris and Class of 2018 member-elect Ricky Skaggs. His powerful music remains a touchstone for musicians and fans worldwide, and we are honored to examine the indelible impact he had on American music.”
The Ralph Stanley: Voice from on High exhibit will include a banjo Stanley bought from a Virginian coal miner that he used in his early career, a guitar his brother used to write “The White Dove,” and radio equipment that was used to broadcast over valleys and mountains through the Southern Appalachians in the 1950s.
This exhibit will run alongside other shows at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum such as Outlaws and Armadillos: Country’s Roaring ‘70s, Little Big Town: The Power of Four and upcoming shows focused on The Judds and Emmylou Harris. Tickets can already be reserved online.