Ralph Stanley (born in 25 February, 1927) is an American bluegrass musician.
Stanley was born in Big Spraddle Creek, Virginia, near Stratton, Dickenson County, Virginia, USA.
The son of Lucy and Lee Stanley, Ralph Edmond Stanley grew up in rural southwestern Virginia. Ralph learned to play the banjo claw-hammer style from his mother. It was her inspiration, coupled with Ralph's natural ability, which led Ralph and his older guitar-playing brother Carter to form the Stanley Brothers Band in 1946. Drawing heavily on the musical traditions of the area - the holiness singing of the Primitive Baptist Church and the sweet downhome family harmonies of the Carter Family- the Stanleys began honing their own special style of music by singing at local events in the early 1940s.
He and his brother Carter performed as the Stanley Brothers with their band the Clinch Mountain Boys from 1946 to 1966. After Carter's death in 1966, Ralph continued to perform, eventually reviving the Clinch Mountain Boys. Larry Sparks, Roy Lee Centers, Ricky Skaggs, Keith Whitley, and Charlie Sizemore were among those who played in the revived band. Stanley has maintained an extensiv...