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The Very Best Of (1947-1961)

The Stanley Brothers

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Album Review

Virginians Ralph and Carter Stanley, the Stanley Brothers, took the traditional Appalachian string band songs of their home and updated them into a traditionally rooted modern bluegrass sound that was singular for its authentic tone, no-frills simplicity, and at times haunting and astonishing beauty, the very model of the high lonesome sound. This expansive four-disc, 103-track box covers the early part of the middle period of their recording career, collecting virtually every side the brothers recorded for the Starday and King record labels between 1958 and 1961. That's a whole lot of Stanley Brothers, but the musical quality, integrity, and execution of this storied duo never waver here, and indeed, they never did waver one bit when the two of them stepped in front of the microphones.

Biography

Formed: 1947 in Virginia

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s

If you even think you know bluegrass, you have to know Ralph (born 1927) and Carter Stanley (born 1925), the Stanley Brothers. Parallel to Flatt & Scruggs and Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys, though not with their renown, were Virginians Ralph and Carter, mountain boys who took those mountains and their traditions and their songs and wove them into a traditional bluegrass sound of utter purity, simplicity, and astonishing beauty. Their first band, formed around 1947, played more of a mountain/folk...
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