The Stanley Brothers – The Complete Columbia Stanley Brothers

ARTIST: The Stanley Brothers
TITLE: The Complete Columbia Stanley BrothersMI0001910129
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation – Recorded 1949-52
SINGLES: All of the songs were singles (on 78!)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Man of Constant Sorrow, Pretty Polly. Lots of bluegrass standards.
LINEUP: Carter Stanley, Ralph Stanley, Clinch Mountain Boys
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: This is the complete 78 output (22 sides) the bluegrass pioneers recorded for Columbia.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: If you like bluegrass and close harmonies, and I do, this is a wonderful collection. Any modern day bluegrass or traditional country artist owes them a great debt.

The lineup is pretty traditional for bluegrass – guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and bass. Carter sings lead and Ralph adds his wonderful tenor to the proceedings. Most of the songs are original, and either gospel or steeped in traditional folk themes.

I was worried about the sound – since they were released on 78. They sound pretty darn good.

NOTES & MINUTAE: The Stanley Brothers originally recorded for a regional label, but I couldn’t find those recordings in streaming. They have a complete Mercury set streaming that I’ll get to.


GRADE: A : Anyone that even thinks they like bluegrass needs this.

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