After his brother Carter’s death in 1966, Ralph decided to continue on his own, but moved back to a more primitive sound. In 1967 and 1968, Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys recorded for King Records in Cincinnati. He continued to appear around the Dayton area just as much as the Stanley Brothers did, and recorded two LPs for Jack Lynch’s Jalyn Records. With a succession of lead singers, he still did the old Stanley Brothers songs but he started doing more lead singing, specialty banjo numbers, novelty songs, and the a capella gospel quartet singing which he originated in bluegrass. No one has ever been able to duplicate Ralph’s raw, eerie mountain tenor voice. Ralph has achieved a lot of well-deserved honors: two honorary college doctorates, membership in the Grand Ole Opry, his own museum, and, three times, the IBMA Recorded Event of the Year. He contributed to the success of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?,with his rendition of “Oh Death,” for which he won a Grammy and worldwide recognition outside of bluegrass music. Ralph won a National Heritage Fellowship, and in 2006 he was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. He and Carter were elected to the IBMA Bluegrass Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2009, he and Eddie Dean co-authored Ralph’s autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow, published by Gotham Books. In 2013, Carter and Ralph were the subjects of a biography by David W. Johnson, Lonesome Melodies, published by University Press of Mississippi, and, in 2015, The Music of the Stanley Brothers was authored by Gary B. Reid and published by University of Illinois Press.

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