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Again, great job. Charlie Sizemore. Thanks Charlie.

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The Truth to You I’ll Tell – “Little Glass of Wine”

The error may lie in my reading of Johnson's account. I'll go back and check the text in a few hours and make the needed corrections.

The Stanley Brothers- Hymns and Sacreds Full 1959

Not only does the version of "I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow" differ from Ralph's later recording, but it also differs from the Stanley Brothers' earlier Columbia recording, which was essentially what Ralph reverted to. Jon Weisberger. Guess it's somewhat of a sad coincidence that this concise but complete and coherent review was sent out on 5 Decemberthe date that Prohibition was repealed. Given Carter's disease, it might not have made a difference in any event.

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Mike S. It also occurs to me that fifty bucks is a steep price Kindle version doesn't seem to be available , and I also wonder why he only saw fit to interview the good Dr. Stanley twice.


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Thank you for the knowledgeable and insightful review, Ted. If Charlie has different information, I would be grateful if he would e-mail me at davidwjohnson gmail. I want to make sure the book is accurate. All best regards, David Johnson. Johnson has written a focused biography which combines solid scholarship, excellent consideration of the role context plays within the narrative, and living, breathing central characters who emerge as an important musical force with all the personal quirks and flaws of real people.

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Johnson manages to humanize Carter and Ralph Stanley without ever resorting to speculations about them which cannot be supported by real evidence. In bringing such rigor to a musical biography, he provides a useful and entertaining story. Carter and Ralph Stanley grew up in the poor, isolated mountains of southwest Virginia, a country dominated by coal, timber, and small subsistence farms. Carter and Ralph in the poor, but respectable environment dominated and formed by the effects of the Great Depression. Their father, Lee Stanley, operated a portable sawmill while their mother ran the small farm and raised the children.

Lee left the family in for a younger woman, permanently scarring both boys, while staying in their life, particularly after they began to find success as musicians. Both men saw service in the U.

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Bookmark the permalink. October 25, at pm. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Search for:. Follow Blog via Email Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. As a result of their accomplishments, they have become a standard of musical authenticity. Get A Copy.

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Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 24, Susan Frances rated it liked it. Author David W. Based on the evidence Johnson presents, the Stanley Brothers were more like torchbearers or followers of the tradition that kept the embers of mountain folk kindled not actual Author David W. Johnson shows that ballads sung by the mountain folks of Appalachia and Baptist hymns sung in the churches of the South were honed to create this breed of music, which today is a part of the Americana culture. Maybe even unbeknownst to Johnson, the book covers much more than the lives of the Stanley Brothers and delves into the evolution of the recording industry and copyrighting music and lyrics, in addition to the growth of radio and television and how these mediums opened up opportunities for manual laborers who had a gift for singing and playing an instrument.

Loggers, farmers, masons, miners, engineers, factory workers, all comprised of this group that brought mountain music into mainstream. Johnson notes that the Stanley Brothers came from this clan of laborers mostly of a Scots-Irish stock. Their kinfolk were made up of farmers and saw mill workers who sang and played music to entertain themselves, a source of compensation and joy to counter the long hours of hard work. Johnson credits three elements that came into existence in America at this time, which moved the music of the mountain folk into homes across the country and later into Canada, Europe, and Australia.

He cites the expansion of radio broadcasts, the popularity of record players like the Victrola to play vinyl records in homes, and the availability of traditional hymns and minstrels that could be copyrighted. Mar 23, Burgoo rated it liked it Shelves: read-in , music. Strangely enough for a biography, that void is the Stanley Brothers themselves.

The strength of Lonesome Melodies is the facts themselves. Johnson does a great job documenting session information, myriad band lineup changes, the migratory nature of the early bluegrass music scene, and other minutiae of the Stanleys career. Unfortunately this is all delivered in a dry academic tone, making the reading experience less than enjoyable. At times it is like reading a more fleshed out version of the liner notes to a Bear Family box set. More egregious, however, is the lack of insight into the subjects of the book itself.


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  7. If the purpose of the book is to function as anything more than a very expensive discography, then the reader should gain a greater understanding of the Stanley Brothers. There were numerous opportunities to examine their character through anecdotal evidence, yet those incidents were slighted and quickly moved away from. For example, in the early days of the band, the Stanley Brothers apparently aggressively stole material from other more successful acts most notably Bill Monroe.