Like many others, I felt compelled to write about Dr. Ralph Stanley after his death on Thursday.
I’m especially struck by 2 things about Ralph Stanley:
1) That moment when in 1966 when his older brother Carter died, and Ralph, as the quiter half of the Stanley Brothers, had to figure out how to move forward in an uncertain environment. He went back to his roots for “Old Time Music” less than a year after his brother’s death, and it shaped his future for the next 50 years.
2) The sheer accumulation of moments over his career. He’s performed since the ’40s—think about how much music has changed over that time.
Reporters don’t often write headlines, but I wrote this one (“How Ralph Stanley overcame tragedy and the persistance of time to change country music”) for those two story points (& only partly for the Dali/Anthrax reference).