With an exceptional talent for banjo playing and tenor singing, Dr. Ralph Stanley has become a legend in bluegrass music. He and his band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, have over 50 years of playing experience and can still wow a crowd with their performances. Each year a number of festivals take place to celebrate their music, and these can provide great entertainment for fans of bluegrass music.
Ralph Stanley Museum Mountain Music Festival
The Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center (ralphstanleymuseum.com) opened in 2004. Located in Clintwood, Virginia, the museum showcases the life of Ralph Stanley and also preserves and promotes mountain and bluegrass music. In the last weekend of September each year the museum hosts the Ralph Stanley Museum Mountain Music Festival, which typically features music by bluegrass and mountain bands, as well as other activities, including dance displays, craft demonstrations and storytelling.
Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival
The Ralph Stanley Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival takes place over the Memorial Day weekend in May each year. Staged at the Hills of Home Park, Smith Ridge, Virginia, the event has a long history, with 2011 seeing the 41st staging of the festival. It draws a number of top bluegrass bands to play, with thousands of fans turning up each year. Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys will usually put on a few performances during the event.
Nathan Stanley's Annual Country & Bluegrass Music Festival
The oldest grandson of Dr. Ralph, Nathan Stanley, has become a famous star in country and bluegrass music. He started a potential legacy in 2010 with his 1st Annual Country & Bluegrass Music Festival, at which his grandfather made an appearance. Scheduled to play also at the second event, Dr. Stanley will likely look to support his grandson in staging a top-class event.
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys tour regularly throughout the year and play many of the bluegrass festivals. Some of the larger events at which they are more likely to put in an appearance include the Poppy Mountain Bluegrass Festival in Morehead, the North Carolina Bluegrass Festival in Marion and the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival in Woodstown.
Ralph Stanley Birthday Celebrations
Born in February, 1927, Dr. Ralph Stanley has enjoyed a long and successful life. In March each year the Ralph Stanley Museum hosts a birthday celebration, which consists of a mix of dinner, fundraising and a concert. Dr. Stanley will generally put in a performance, and a number of other bluegrass and mountain music bands will play in tribute to the great man.
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