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Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times
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Penguin Publishing Group 2009
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Description
A giant of American music opens the book on his wrenching professional and personal journeys, paying tribute to the vanishing Appalachian culture that gave him his voice. He was there at the beginning of bluegrass. Yet his music, forged in the remote hills and hollows of Southwest Virginia, has even deeper roots. In Man of Constant Sorrow, Dr. Ralph Stanley gives a surprisingly candid look back on his long and incredible career as the patriarch of old-time mountain music. Marked by Dr. Ralph Stanley?s banjo picking, his brother Carter?s guitar playing, and their haunting and distinctive harmonies, the Stanley Brothers began their career in 1946 and blessed the world of bluegrass with hundreds of classic songs, including ?White Dove,? ?Rank Stranger,? and what has become Dr. Ralph?s signature song, ?Man of Constant Sorrow.? Carter died in 1966 after years of alcohol abuse, but Dr. Ralph Stanley carried on and is still at the top of his game, playing to audiences across the country today at age eighty-one. Rarely giving interviews, he now grants fans the book they have been waiting for, filled with frank recollections, from his boyhood of dire poverty in the Appalachian coalfields to his early musical success with his brother, to years of hard traveling on the road with the Clinch Mountain Boys, to the recent, jubilant revival of a sound he helped create. The story of how a musical art now popular around the world was crafted by two brothers from a dying mountain culture, Man of Constant Sorrow captures a life harmonized with equal measures of tragedy and triumph.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/15/2009
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101148785
ASIN:
B002SAUCCQ
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ralph Stanley. (2009). Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ralph Stanley. 2009. Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ralph Stanley, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times. Penguin Publishing Group, 2009.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ralph Stanley. Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times. Penguin Publishing Group, 2009. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:48:21
Date Updated:
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title
Man of Constant Sorrow
fullDescription
A giant of American music opens the book on his wrenching professional and personal journeys, paying tribute to the vanishing Appalachian culture that gave him his voice.
He was there at the beginning of bluegrass. Yet his music, forged in the remote hills and hollows of Southwest Virginia, has even deeper roots. In Man of Constant Sorrow, Dr. Ralph Stanley gives a surprisingly candid look back on his long and incredible career as the patriarch of old-time mountain music.
Marked by Dr. Ralph Stanley?s banjo picking, his brother Carter?s guitar playing, and their haunting and distinctive harmonies, the Stanley Brothers began their career in 1946 and blessed the world of bluegrass with hundreds of classic songs, including ?White Dove,? ?Rank Stranger,? and what has become Dr. Ralph?s signature song, ?Man of Constant Sorrow.? Carter died in 1966 after years of alcohol abuse, but Dr. Ralph Stanley carried on and is still at the top of his game, playing to audiences across the country today at age eighty-one. Rarely giving interviews, he now grants fans the book they have been waiting for, filled with frank recollections, from his boyhood of dire poverty in the Appalachian coalfields to his early musical success with his brother, to years of hard traveling on the road with the Clinch Mountain Boys, to the recent, jubilant revival of a sound he helped create.
The story of how a musical art now popular around the world was crafted by two brothers from a dying mountain culture, Man of Constant Sorrow captures a life harmonized with equal measures of tragedy and triumph.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from August 10, 2009
        Stanley's life spans the history of recorded bluegrass and country music, but his high, lonesome voice encompasses human suffering throughout time. Born in 1927, Stanley and his brother and first singing partner, Carter, grew up in the mountains of southwestern Virginia where Stanley learned old-time music in a Primitive Baptist church and from his mother, who picked the banjo clawhammer style. As a young man he often doubted his future as a musician, farming and working briefly in a sawmill, before committing himself to the music business. He stuck with it after Carter's alcohol-accelerated death in 1966 even though his career did not prove lucrative until very late in life when he was featured on the O Brother, Where Art Thou?
        soundtrack. He won the 2001 Grammy for best male country vocal performance, besting the likes of young commercial country star Tim McGraw, of whom Stanley writes, “ouldn't know a real country song if it kicked him in the ass.” Stanley's plainspoken narrative is told in a rural diction as though he were sitting in the front seat of an old Ford headed down the mountain for his next show. His story is a comprehensive and endearing cornucopia of authentic mountain music, place, family, friends, rivals, faith, love, life, death and the road.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from August 15, 2009
        A usually taciturn folk icon takes an engaging ramble through his six-decade career.

        A founding father of the string-band style most call bluegrass, Stanley—who prefers the terms"old-time mountain music" or"the Stanley Sound" to define his work—has never been fond of talking about himself. So this autobiography, penned with the knowledgeable music journalist Dean, is a delightful, outspoken surprise. The 82-year-old singer and banjo player reflects on his Primitive Baptist upbringing in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, where real life sometimes imitated the Gothic themes of the region's music—his uncle shot and killed his wife and himself. With older sibling Carter, Stanley founded the Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys, one of the first and greatest bluegrass groups, in 1946. He recounts the development of their"high lonesome" sound, their early rivalry and later friendship with Bill Monroe and their harsh life on the road in the'50s, when rock'n' roll threatened to kill off country music. Following Carter's alcoholism-related death in 1966, Stanley struck out on his own, and he offers fond recollections of such sidemen as his young protgs Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley and antic fiddler Curly Ray Cline. It wasn't until his 2002 Grammy triumph on the soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou? that Stanley finally transcended his status as a genre hero to attain his rightful place in the American music pantheon. Unashamedly old-fashioned, opinionated and prickly, Stanley sometimes lashes out at rivals like the late John Duffey of Washington's Seldom Scene. He's at his best recalling his backwoods upbringing, the vicissitudes of the bluegrass road, the murder of one of his lead singers, regional Democratic politics, the power of gospel music and old-time religion and the fast-vanishing South of his boyhood.

        An often tart yet affecting music memoir.

        (COPYRIGHT (2009) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 9, 2009
        Stanley, who became a Grammy Award winner and a legend in his seventies and has inspired the likes of Alison Krauss and Loretta Lynn, opens up in this rare and candid account of his impoverished upbringing and the early days of bluegrass and its revival. In his timid voice, Stanley, with Dean (Pure Country: The Leon Kagarise Archives, 1961-1971), tells of the heartbreaking loss of his bandmate and brother from alcoholism, his music, and his friendship with the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe. His rivalry with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, his thoughts on contemporary country music, and his one-of-a-kind meeting with Keith Whitley and Ricky Skaggs, who later performed with him in the Clinch Mountain Boys, are some of the humorous events that line the story. Verdict Country and bluegrass music lovers will enjoy this story from the man who was there at the beginning of bluegrass and at its rebirth with the soundtrack to the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?-Brian Sherman, McNeese State Univ. Lib., Lake Charles, LA

        Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from October 15, 2009
        Ralph Stanley, to whom the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? brought great fame late in his career, represents the conservative strain of bluegrass. Whereas the musics founder, Bill Monroe, was, Stanley points out in this shining memoir, always an innovator despite scorning electric instruments and drums, Stanley always adhered to the most venerable traditions he knew. Unlike the vast preponderance of bluegrass banjoists, he still uses pre-bluegrass techniques in performance, and he has clung to the hard-shell Primitive Baptist hymn-singing manners he learned in childhood. It helps his deliberate archaism that he sounds like a 100-year-old manand did at age 8, said his father. His is simply one of the most distinctive singing voices ever recorded, and by now his gentle, Virginia Appalachian spoken vernacular is becoming equally distinctive as men like him vanish. With music journalist Deans help, Stanley has put his speech on paper. Every word about his hardscrabble upbringing, how he and his brother, Carter, built livings in music; his perseverance after Carters untimely death in 1966; the many personalities he has worked with and admired; and much more, is vibrant with it. Perhaps in the future this lovely book will occupy a position in American autobiography like that of Huckleberry Finn among American novels, as the great vernacular example of its kind.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2009, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
A giant of American music opens the book on his wrenching professional and personal journeys, paying tribute to the vanishing Appalachian culture that gave him his voice.
He was there at the beginning of bluegrass. Yet his music, forged in the remote hills and hollows of Southwest Virginia, has even deeper roots. In Man of Constant Sorrow, Dr. Ralph Stanley gives a surprisingly candid look back on his long and incredible career as the patriarch of old-time mountain music.
Marked by Dr. Ralph Stanley?s banjo picking, his brother Carter?s guitar playing, and their haunting and distinctive harmonies, the Stanley Brothers began their career in 1946 and blessed the world of bluegrass with hundreds of classic songs, including ?White Dove,? ?Rank Stranger,? and what has become Dr. Ralph?s signature song, ?Man of Constant Sorrow.? Carter died in 1966 after years of alcohol abuse, but Dr. Ralph Stanley carried on and is still at the top of his game, playing to...
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