As a matter of fact, if you look up bluegrass music on Wikipedia, only Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys are mentioned before first generation, traditional bluegrass master Stanley and his late brother Carter.
The Stanley Brothers are credited with defining bluegrass as a musical genre or style, rather than just the unique sound of Bill Monroe and his players, with their release of the traditional song “Molly and Tenbrooks” in 1947.
“(Monroe) was the first, but it wasn’t called bluegrass back then,” he is quoted in the reference work. “When they started doing the bluegrass festivals in 1965, everybody got together and wanted to know what to call the show, y’know. It was decided that since Bill was the oldest man, and was from the Bluegrass state of Kentucky and he had the Blue Grass Boys, it would be called ‘bluegrass.’”
Growing up in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, he and his brother Carter learned their distinctive “claw-hammer” style of banjo-picking from their mother, and launched their professional career in 1946.
After Carter passed away in 1966, Stanley has gone it alone with the Clinch Mountain Boys.
The 73-year-old recently had his career rejuvenated and reached new audiences through the ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?’ soundtrack which featured covers of Stanley’s recordings like the traditional “Man of Constant Sorrows.”
The soundtrack also featured his own recording of “Oh Death.”
Cole Auditorium Director Joey Bennett said there has been a lot of interest expressed in attending the show, and with more than three weeks to go approximately 300 of the 1,000 available tickets have been sold.
“We’re anticipating this show will sell out well before the performance itself,” Bennett said. “So, we encourage people who are interested in purchasing a ticket not to wait until the last minute. There most likely won’t be any tickets left on the day of the concert.”
The Clinch Mountain Boys today include Stanley’s son, Ralph Stanley II, and his oldest grandson, 16-year-old Nathan Stanley.
Reserved seating tickets for the performance range in price from $20 to $35 each, and are on sale now. The show is at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Cole Auditorium Box Office at (910) 410-1691 or visiting the Box Office in the Cole Auditorium on the RCC campus at 1042 W. Hamlet Ave in Hamlet/ Cash, check and VISA and MasterCard are accepted.
People can call the Box Office, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.richmondcc.edu for more information.
This is the final installment of the third season of the Cole Community Series at Cole Auditorium.
Recent shows from the series included the children’s show “Max & Ruby” on April 4 and “An American Portrait” with Mac Frampton on April 30.