Cover for WRIGHT: Traveling the High Way Home: Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music

Traveling the High Way Home

Ralph Stanley and the World of Traditional Bluegrass Music
Awards and Recognition:

Winner of an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Print Media Personality Award

Reading John Wright's book is like sitting around a campfire at a bluegrass festival, listening as the oldtimers weave their yarns far into the night. Told by those who create, produce, stage, love, and virtually live for old-time mountain music, the tales come from the longtime coworkers, sidemen, promoters, friends a neighbor, a scholar who has known Ralph Stanley almost from childhood, the housewife who ran the Stanley Brothers Fan Club, a souvenir seller for whom the discovery of Stanley's music was almost a religious experience. They range from heartbreaking to hilarious and form integral parts of a must-read book for all of Stanley's fans.

Wright's portrait of the man he characterizes as "a national treasure" goes beyond oral history. His detailed introductory chapter describes and evaluates Stanlet's more than forty-year career with his Clinch Mountain Boys. It also reveals how Ralph's life and music developed after the death of his brother, Carter. Twenty-one pictures illustrate Stanley's world, and an appendix covers his prolific recording activity, including 45 albums - more than 550 songs and tunes - over a twenty year period.

"If you have any interest at all in music, where it was and where it is going, you need this book and you ought to get it."--Tom T. Hall

John Wright, John Evans Professor of the Latin Language and Literature at Northwestern University, is a columnist for Banjo Newsletter.

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