Bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley has died at the age of 89. His final album was 2015’s Ralph Stanley and Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow produced by Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.
You can read the 2001 Ace archive on Dr. Ralph Stanley here.
In it, Walter Howerton wrote:
Ralph Stanley’s voice can make a godless man wish he could believe.
He can make a rootless man long for the old homeplace, even if he never really had one.
He can fill anybody’s once-familiar world with rank strangers and make a man feel the guilt and despair of being gone far too long, even if he really has never been anyplace much.
And in a world of dysfunctional families, no-fault divorces and unresolved Freudian ambiguities, he can make a man remember the worst of families fondly and hope – at least for the duration of a song – he will be reunited with his momma and daddy and all the rest of them on that heavenly shore someday.