Ralph Stanley Story

The last surviving vocalist of bluegrass music’s first generation, 73-year-old Ralph Stanley, has enjoyed a recent surge of popularity thanks to the success of the Coen brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou? The song that the film’s plot revolves around, “Man of Constant Sorrow,” has long been associated with Stanley, and that’s his hair-raising voice that you hear singing “Oh, Death” during the lynching scene. So the time is just right for a documentary film about Stanley’s life, and filmmaker Herb E. Smith is just the man to make it. Combining interviews with Stanley sidemen and family members with concert footage, featuring such guest artists as Dwight Yoakam, Ricky Skaggs and the late Keith Whitley, The Ralph Stanley Story gives a rare insight into the life and music of one of America’s greatest musical treasures. Visit www.appalshop.org.