Music News

Ralph Stanley Tribute held at Appalshop Theater

On July 7, Appalshop Archive and WMMT co-hosted a community gathering at the Appalshop Theater in Whitesburg, KY to celebrate the life and music of Dr. Ralph Stanley, who passed away on June 23, 2016.  Appalshop filmmaker Herb E. Smith presented his 2000 documentary The Ralph Stanley Story along with a new short work created from footage recorded at Stanley’s funeral. Following a Q&A with the filmmaker, members of the audience were invited to play music and share memories of the legendary singer and banjo master. Performances included renditions of songs written by or made famous by Stanley, whose soulful music always kept its powerful connection to his mountain roots. In addition to the screening and performances, rare archival footage of an early lineup of Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys was presented in the Appalshop Gallery. The full 3-hour public event including the film’s soundtrack was simulcast on WMMT-FM.


Filmmaker Herb E. Smith discusses the making of The Ralph Stanley Story. Photo by Michaela Miller


Local resident Stanley Sturgill. Photo by Michaela Miller


Letcher County string band Sunrise Ridge. Photo by Michaela Miller


Ralph Stanley in 1972 with Clinch Mountain Boys Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, Curly Ray Cline, Roy Lee Centers and Jack Cooke. From the Appalshop Archive’s Mountain Community Television Collection.

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