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[RIP] Bluegrass music patriarch Ralph Stanley dies at 89

nota bene

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From Fox News:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ralph Stanley, a patriarch of Appalachian music who with his brother Carter helped expand and popularize the genre that became known as bluegrass, died Thursday. He was 89.

...He performed at the inaugurations of U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, was given a "Living Legends" medal from the Library of Congress and a National Medal of Arts presented by the National Endowment for the Arts and President George W. Bush. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

Bluegrass music patriarch Ralph Stanley dies at 89 | Fox News

From the Tennessean:

Dr. Stanley's career was rejuvenated in 2000 when his music was featured on the multiplatinum soundtrack of the film "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" His eerie, captivating recording of "O Death" won a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance, and it introduced him to a new generation of fans. He won a second Grammy for "Lost in the Lonesome Pines," a bluegrass album he recorded with Jim Lauderdale. Ralph Stanley, bluegrass legend, dead at 89
 

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From Billboard:

Even with a decade and a half of hindsight, it still feels weirder than anything that ever actually happened within a Coen brothers movie. In the flukiest of all fluky music business smashes, the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack -- a bluegrassy album whose unit sales most forecasters would have expected to top out in the mid-five-figures -- instead went eight-times platinum… after winning an album of the year Grammy, spending two weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and standing atop the Country Albums chart for 35 weeks and soundtracks chart for 34.

...“Seeing Ralph Stanley stand up in the middle of the room and perform that ["O Death"] at the Grammys was the absolute proudest moment of my career,” says Luke Lewis, who fostered the record when he was chairman/CEO of Universal Nashville. “I don’t know if you can pull it up on YouTube” (you can -- watch below at 1:37) “but it was brilliant, and yesterday when I heard about him passing, that’s the first place my mind went. In the middle of the Grammys, where they’re all concerned about TV ratings, they’re going to put on this guy that came down from the mountain -- literally! -- and unless you’re a severe music freak, you probably didn’t know who he was, and he's going to sing an a cappella song about death? Are you kidding me? That’s insane. That runs against the grain of everything. If Ralph Stanley didn’t come out of that room feeling like a million dollars… because I was sitting with a bunch of hip-hop guys, and they went crazy. They had no idea what this sh-- was, but it completely blew them away.” Ralph Stanley & 'O Brother': The Unlikeliest Soundtrack Smash Ever | Billboard
 

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Rest in peace, Ralph Stanley.
 
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