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The Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers

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The Stanley Brothers, along with The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and The Blue Sky Boys, were amongst a handful of seminal performers whose recordings would come to define Country music in the twentieth century. They hailed from McClure Virginia, nestled amongst the gorgeous Clinch Mountains whose inhospitable ridges and valleys served as home to countless early country performers. Though the Stanley Brothers cut their first records in the mid ‘40s for the tiny Rich-R-Tone records, the material they would cut for Columbia in the late forties and early fifties, collected here on the exhaustive Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers would introduce them to a wider audience, and these tracks are now remembered as their crowning achievement. Tunes like “Pretty Polly,” “We’ll Be Sweethearts In Heaven,” and “Man Of Constant Sorrow” feature sweet harmonies, claw hammer picked Banjos, and keening country figures, and are amongst the most beloved and most often covered tunes in the classic Country songbook. These recordings are an essential part of any serious collection of Country music.

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Essemtial listening

Any true fan of country music or bluegrass should own this collection. This is the real deal.


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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