Clinch Mountain Echo

Stanley Brothers - Up In The 'Cloud' - 1957-'62

70 previously unreleased live recordings...


Valley View Park 1956 or '57 L-R: Curly Lambert, Ralph, Carter, Chubby Anthony (Photo: Mike Seeger)

Well 2020 has been a pretty weird year so far, what with Covid-19 & all the c**p that has entailed.

Every cloud however, has a silver-lining, and with lots of folks having been couped-up over the last few months, there has been an amazing amount of new Ralph Stanley & Stanley Brothers material coming our way.

So much so, that to be honest, I've not been able to keep up with it. On youtube for instance, there's been some great live sets by Ralph including a 1976 WAMU live audio broadcast, a set from the Berkshire '77 festival and a couple of rare 'up-close' videos from Huron Valley Eagles '88 and Monroe County '87.

Youtube has also seen a flourish of excellent Stanley Brothers live audio sets, including a 10 minute radio segment from WWVA Wheeling Jamboree 1958, which hasn't appeared elsewhere.

In addition, I've been lucky enough to score about a dozen Ralph Stanley shows (including a rare '71 show with Roy Lee Centers and a couple of '69 sets); a bunch of the Stanley Brothers 'Tape Club' recordings; plus a few rare odd's & sods..

Best of all however, has been a large amount of prime Stanley Brothers live recordings... For me this has been both pretty exciting & also a bit overwhelming, as it was the live 'Stanley Series' that really got me into listening more to Ralph and the Stanley Brothers, and ultimately starting this website.

What follows is a compilation of 70 live Stanley Brothers tracks, which some bright-spark has uploaded to SoundCloud for our listening pleasure. Included are choice selections from sixteen (!!) live shows between 1957-62.

Huge Thanks to Billy Q. Smith for these!

Click Here to listen to the SoundCloud Playlist

PS: As a bonus, the MP3's for all these tracks, plus a further 40 can be found on Billy Q's Google Drive.


NB:- The live shows featured in the Soundcloud list are included below in chronological order. Where tracks have been included in the playlist, the title has been hyperlinked. The '(#xx)' number refers to the track order in the playlist. Bonus Tracks shown as '(*)' are also included in Billy Q's Google Drive:-


(1) (Possibly) Newark, NJ - 7th April, 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Chubby Anthony & Snuffy Jones (probably Jack Cooke)
Tracks:- Shake, Rattle And Roll (#54); You'd Better Get Right; Blue Moon Of Kentucky (#66); I'm Thinking Tonight Of My Blue Eyes; Hard Times (*); Comedy Routine; I'm Lost, I'll Never Find The Way (#11); He Will Set Your Fields On Fire; Bile Dem Cabbage Down (part); So Blue (#58); Big Tilda (*); Found A Peanut; Salty Dog Blues; A Voice From On High (*); Angel Band.

NB:- Date and location of this show isn't definite. Pete Kuykendall referenced a show from this date as Newark, but Alice Gerrard has the location as Melody Ranch. Sound quality on the tape is excellent, and it includes an odd comedic routine with 'Snuffy Jones' giving Carter his 'dog' to hold. This turns out to hold a liquid which appears to be moonshine but 'tastes like salt-water'. Another oddity with 'Snuffy Jones' singing the repetitive comedy number Found A Peanut. Snuffy's real identity isn't certain, but is thought to be Jack Cooke, however a show from two days later features Lindy Clear in the comedic/bass spot.

(2) Melody Ranch, Glen Burnie, MD, 9th April 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Chubby Anthony & Lindy Clear
Tracks:- Blue Moon Of Kentucky; Are You Waiting Just For Me; The Flood; Handsome Molly; The Jealous Lover; Poor Ellen Smith; Little Maggie; East Virginia Blues; I'm Lost I'll Never Find The Way, Angel Band (#64); Bile Dem Cabbage Down; I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; Shake, Rattle And Roll; Are You Waiting Just For Me; The Little Glass Of Wine; I'm Bound To Ride (#2).

NB:- Quality on this set isn't too great. The version of Shake, Rattle And Roll has also appeared on youtube.

(3) Melody Ranch, Glen Burnie, MD, 18th April 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Chubby Anthony & Lindy Clear
Tracks:- I'm Bound To Ride; Intro to Blue Moon Of Kentucky (cut); Roll In Sweet Baby's Arms; Katy Hill; So Blue; He Will Set Your Fields On Fire; Salty Dog Blues (#68); Lonesome Road Blues; In The Pines (#18); Black Mountain Blues; I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling; Will You Be Loving Another Man; Step It Up And Go (#1); I Worship You; East Virginia Blues; Sugar Coated Love; Meet Me Tonight (#15); Glory To His Name; Toy Heart (#57); Medley: Shenandoah Waltz-Kentucky Waltz-Here Today And Gone Tomorrow-One By One (#47); Shout Little Lulie; Chicken Reel; Waltz; Baby Blue Eyes; I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home; Nobody's Love Is Like Mine (#41); I Never Will Marry (#36).

NB:- Quality on this set isn't too great. The version of Lonesome Road Blues has previously been released on the Shadows Of The Past album.

(4) Sunset Park, West Grove, PA, 26th May 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Frank Wakefield, Chubby Anthony & Ezra Jones (Jack Cooke)
Tracks:- Intro by Ray Davis; Dickenson County Breakdown; Band Intro's; Orange Blossom Special; Drink Up And Go Home; Big Tilda; You'd Better Get Right; Nobody's Love Is Like Mine; Rawhide (*); The Cry From The Cross; Are You Waiting Just For Me; Bile Dem Cabbage Down; The Flood; This Weary Heart You Stole Away (Wake Up, Sweetheart) (#37); I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; A Beautiful Life; East Virginia Blues; Back Up And Push; The Little Glass Of Wine; Katy Hill; I'm Lost, I'll Never Find The Way, Could You Love Me (One More Time) (#19); A Voice From On High; Pretty Polly; I'm Bound To Ride; Lonesome And Blue (#26); Little Birdie.

NB:- I think this is the only CMB recording to feature Frank Wakefield on mandolin. Carter introduces him saying "... we're real glad to have him along, he's kinda new with the show, but he's working out real good...".

The Stanley Brothers - June 1957
(*) New River Ranch, Rising Sun, MD, 1st June 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Chubby Anthony & Jack Cooke
Tracks:- Red Apple Rag (part); This Weary Heart You Stole Away (part); Big Tilda (part); Molly And Tenbrooks (part); The Flood; Black Mountain Blues (*); A Beautiful Life (part); Little Glass Of Wine; Pike County Breakdown (part); Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet (*); Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms (part); East Virginia Blues (part); That's All Right Mama (part) (*); How Far To Little Rock; John Henry (part); I Hope You Have Learned; Could You Love Me (One More Time); Pretty Polly (part); I'm Bound To Ride (part); Shout Little Lulie (part); White House Blues; True Blue Bill; Used To Be; Just A Little Talk With Jesus (*); Wildwood Flower (part).

NB:- Three tracks from this show are included in Billy Q's bonus Google Drive material. The recording suffers from several clipped openings, but does include some rare song renditions, such as Jack Cooke singing Arthur Crudup's That's All Right Mama. A copy of part of the show (i.e. minus the last four tracks) has also appeared on youtube and two songs (I Hope You Have Learned & White House Blues) were previously included on the Shadows Of The Past album.

(*) Unity Hall, Baltimore, MD, 6th July 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Bill Napier & Jack Cooke
Tracks:- You'd Better Get Right (*); Dickenson County Breakdown; Drink Up And Go Home; Rawhide; Flower Blooming In The Wildwood (with Bill Clifton); Flowers From The Hillside (with Bill Clifton); I Hope You've Learned; Wild Horse.

NB:- This short set featured a guest appearance by Bill Clifton. Some tracks have also resurfaced on youtube, but with the exception of You'd Better Get Right all tracks appear on the excellent Valley View Park 1957 CD. (You'd Better Get Right was presumably omitted from the CD to avoid duplication with the main Valley View Park - 12th May 1957 show).

(5) Melody Ranch, Glen Burnie, MD, 11th July 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Bill Napier & Jack Cooke
Tracks:- I Worship You (#46); Rawhide; Drink Up And Go Home; Say You'll Take Me Back; I Just Got Wise (#35); The Lonesome River, Hey! Hey! Hey!; I'm Tired (*); Blue Moon Of Kentucky; I'm Lost, I'll Never Find The Way; Just Another Broken Heart; Letter From My Darlin' (#6); Baby Girl (*); I Wonder How The Old Folks Are At Home; East Virginia Blues; Bile Dem Cabbage Down.

NB:- This set includes a version of Webb Pierce's I'm Tired with Bill Napier on vocal. Another rarity, Just Another Broken Heart has previously been released on the Shadows Of The Past album.

(6) Union Hall, Front Royal, VA, 30th August 1957:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Bill Napier & Jack Cooke
Tracks:- Who Will Call You Sweetheart (#62); Fling Ding (#65); Loving You Too Well (#12); Under The Double Eagle; Poison Love (#50); Going To The Races; Lover's Quarrel (#42); Arkansas Traveller (*); Crying Holy; Our Last Goodbye (#25); Sugar Coated Love (#33); True Life Blues (#52); Cumberland Gap; Rawhide.

NB:- The version of Going To The Races from this show has previously been released on the Shadows Of The Past album.

(*) New River Ranch, Rising Sun, MD, 15th May 1960:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Ralph Mayo & Lindy Clear
Tracks (Set One):- Watermelon Hangin' On The Vine; Cacklin' Hen; Please Help Me, I'm Falling; Turkey In The Straw; Introduction; Gonna Paint the Town; Sunny Side Of The Mountain; Cripple Creek; Mountain Dew; How Far To Little Rock; I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; Climate Routine; Are You Afraid To Die; Black Mountain Blues; In Heaven We'll Never Grow Old; Cumberland Gap; God Gave You To Me; Song Book Sales Pitch.
Tracks (Set Two):- How Mountain Girls Can Love; Don't Go Out Tonight; Little Glass Of Wine; So Blue; Uncle Pen; Come All Ye Tender Hearted; Mountain Dew; Baby Blue Eyes; How Far To Little Rock; Let the Church Roll On; He Will Set Your Fields on Fire; Paul And Silas; The Cry From The Cross; John Henry; No School Bus In Heaven; Motherís Not Dead; Orange Blossom Special (*); If I Lose.
Tracks (Set Three):- Roll in My Sweet Babyís Arms; Love Me Darling Just Tonight; Knoxville Girl; Fling Ding; Another Night (*); East Virginia Blues (*); Drifting Too Far From The Shore; Ridin' That Midnight Train; Theme.

NB:- Material from this show has previously resurfaced on the Stanley Series, Vol. 1 No. 2 album (part of Set One), the Live At New River Ranch CD, The Legendary Stanley Brothers Recorded Live, Vol. 1 compilation, The Legendary Stanley Brothers Recorded Live, Vol. 2 and on youtube.

Three tracks from this shoe (He Will Set Your Fields on Fire, Knoxville Girl and Roll in My Sweet Babyís Arms) also appeared on The Legendary Stanley Brothers Recorded Live, Vol. 1 album. Vol. 2 included one more (Mother's Not Dead).

The shows were recorded by Bill Offenbacher and Lamar Grier.

(7) (Possibly) Brunswick, GA, 5th August 1960:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus possibly Curley Lambert, Vernon Derrick & Carl Chatzky.
Tracks:- Will You Be Loving Another Man (#27).

NB:- This track was found on a tape from the Carl Chatzy collection, on a recording of the Whippoorwill Park, Warrenton Va show 28th August 1960. It's believed to be from a show, a few weeks earlier, which also featured Carl Chatzky on bass.

(8) Winter Haven, FL, ca. August 1960:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Vernon Derrick & unknown bass player.
Tracks:- Theme; Comments; Fire On The Mountain; Comments; Please Help Me, I'm Falling; Pike County Breakdown (*); Introduction of Stanley Brothers; Finger Poppin' Time; Long Journey Home; The Angels are Singing (In Heaven Tonight) (#60); I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; Molly And Tenbrooks (#22).

NB:- Good quality set, with a splendid version of Bill Monroe's instrumental Pike County Breakdown.

(9) Lake Whippoorwill Park, Warrenton, VA, 28th August, 1960:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Vernon Derrick, Carl Dickens (Carl Chatzky) & Kentucky Slim.
Tracks (First Show):- Theme; Orange Blossom Special; Carl Dickens intro; Why I'm Walking; Cripple Creek; Sunny Side Of The Mountain (*); Next Sunday, Darling, Is My Birthday (*); Long Journey Home; Finger Poppin' Time (#14); Kentucky Slim - The Little Darlin' intro; Clinch Mountain Backstep (*); Vernon Derrick intro; Daniel Prayed (#43); Rank Stranger (#38); I'll Take The Blame (#23).
Tracks (Second Show):- Theme; I'm Going Back To Old Kentucky (*); I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; How Far To Little Rock (edited); The Flood (*); The White Dove (*); Pike County Breakdown; Old Joe Clark (part); Are You Afraid To Die (#67); If That's The Way You Feel (#34); Don't Be Cruel; Little Birdie (#7); I'm Bound To Ride; Rank Stranger.

NB:- Good quality set, with a rare rendition of their recent single Finger Poppin' Time. Unfortunately all the jokes in How Far To Little Rock have been edited out!

Afternoon performance 28th May 1961 (Photo: Alice Gerrard)
(10) Oak Leaf Park, Luray, VA, 28th May 28 1961 (Show 2):
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus George Shuffler & Tom Gray.
Tracks (Second Show):- How Mountain Gals Can Love (begin cut); Willy Roy; Midnight Ramble; Wild Side of Life (*); Don't Go Out Tonight (#21); The Little Glass of Wine; Farewell Blues (#28); Window Up Above; Little Maggie; Little Joe (#9).

NB:- Tracks from this show are also featured on Youtube, but incorrectly listed as being from Whippoorwill Lake, Va. 26th Aug 1960. The Afternoon Show (including two tracks found at the beginning of the Youtube video) was released on the Stanley Series Vol. 2 No. 2 album and featured an unidentified bass player. For the Second set (listed above), the Country Gent's Tom Gray filled in on bass.

Both sets were recorded by Lamar Grier.

(11) Watermelon Park, Berryville, VA, 18th June 1961:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus George Shuffler, Al Elliott & unknown.
Tracks (Set One):- Gonna Paint The Town (#24); George Shuffler introduction; Steel Guitar Rag; The Girl In The Blue Velvet Band; Ridin' That Midnight Train (#51); Old Love Letters; If I Lose; Midnight Ramble; Rank Stranger; A Few More Years; Little Bennie.
Tracks (Set Two):- How Far To Little Rock; Don't Go Out Tonight; Finger Poppin' Time; The Window Up Above (part); The Lonesome River (lost); Dream Of A Miner's Child (lost); I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; How Mountain Girls Can Love.

NB:- Another fine show, wich includes a rare rendition of Bill Monroe's The Girl In The Blue Velvet Band with Al Elliott on lead vocal. Five tracks from the show were later included on the The Legendary Stanley Brothers Recorded Live, Vol. 2 LP (If I Lose, Rank Stranger, Little Bennie, Man Of Constant Sorrow and A Few More Years). Two songs from the second set appear to have gotten lost over the years, with How Mountain Girls Can Love only resurfacing on the Jap. 2-LP On Stage release.

Both sets were recorded by Lamar Grier.

The Stanley Brothers - 4th July 1961 (Photo: Phil Specht)
(12) Oak Leaf Park, Luray, VA, 4th July 1961:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus George Shuffler, Al Elliott & Jack Cooke.
Tracks:- Don't Go Out Tonight; Sunny Side Of The Mountain; The Memory Of Your Smile (#48); Steel Guitar Rag (#56); Put My Little Shoes Away; The Lonesome River (#61); Hey, Hey, Hey (#31); White Dove; A Few More Years (*); Hard Times; Carter talks; How Far To Little Rock; If I Lose; Gonna Paint The Town; Midnight Ramble (*); The Girl In The Blue Velvet Band (*); Ridin' That Midnight Train; If I Lose (#8); Old Love Letters (#45); Jordan (#3); I Saw The Light (#39); Rank Stranger; How Mountain Girls Can Love (*).

NB:- There has been a recording of this show in circulation, but not as an official release. The date in question, is of course Bill Clifton's one-day 'All Blue Grass Show', which was the precursor for all our beloved Bluegrass festivals. One track from the 'Blue Grass Boys Reunion' segment of the show with Bill Monroe and Carter Stanley, later resurfaced on the Definitive Collection 3xCD set. A more complete version of Bill Monroe's set, including the infamous on-stage conersation between Bill and Carter about Flatt & Scruggs is also online.

(13) Glen Echo Farm, Charlottesville, VA, 4th March 1962:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus George Shuffler & Chick Stripling.
Tracks:- Introduction by Eddie Matherly; Late Last Night (#4); On Top Of Old Smoky; Wildwood Flower (*); Lover's Quarrel; Dream Of A Miner's Child; I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; How Far To Little Rock; Comments by Carter Stanley; Rank Stranger; I'm Bound To Ride; Comments by Carter Stanley; Comedy; Fiddle Tune; Comedy; Johnson's Old Grey Mule; Comments by Carter Stanley; Comedy; The White Dove; Comments by Carter Stanley; If I Lose; Comments by Eddie Matherly; Come All Ye Tenderhearted; Wildwood Flower; Cotton Fields; Comedy.

NB:- This is an informal recording from a combined Birthday party for Bill Clifton and his wife. Two tracks:- Dream Of A Miner's Child and Let Us Be Lovers Again (aka Lover's Quarrel) (plus part of from Eddie Matherly's intro) later appeared on The Legendary Stanley Brothers Recorded Live, Vol. 1 album. Another, I'm Bound To Ride also appears on the Jap. 2-LP set On Stage.

Towards the end of the tape, it sounds like the contents of the party's punch-bowl were starting to take effect on the crowd, with Carter struggling to keep a straight-face on Lead Belly's Cotton Fields.

(14) Watermelon Park, Berryville, VA, 1st July 1 1962:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Unknown.
Tracks:- Don't Go Out Tonight; Cumberland Gap (part); Choo Choo Comin' (#17); Old Love Letters; Fast Express; There Is A Trap (#59); Little Maggie; Long Journey Home (part); The White Dove; Rank Stranger; I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; Drifting Too Far From The Shore; Wild Bill Jones (#63); Meet Me Tonight; A Few More Seasons; Your Saddle Is Empty Ol' Pal (#29); Still Trying To Get To Little Rock (part).

NB:- The sound quality on this tape is a bit variable. One highlight is the version of The Carlisle Brothers' Riding The Trail (Your Saddle Is Empty Tonight) (aka Your Saddle Is Empty Ol' Pal). The song is performed as an audience request, which prompts Carter to query where'd they'd heard them do it, as "...we never did it anywhere except in the barn at home, about 30 or 40 years ago." The Stanley Brothers did of course record it a couple of years later on the John's Country Quartet LP, and Ralph also recorded the song on his 1968 Bluegrass Sound Of... LP.

(15) Watermelon Park, Berryville, VA, 12th August 1962:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert & unknown.
Tracks:- Meet Me Tonight; I'm Only Human; Hard Times; The Lonesome River; If I Lose; A Few More Seasons; Little Joe; The White Dove; How Far To Little Rock (#69) / Still Trying To Get To Little Rock (#70); Comments by Carter Stanley; Cripple Creek.

NB:- This was kind of a follow-up to the 1961 'Blue Grass Day' event, with Don Reno & Red Smiley, the Stanleys, Benny & Vallie Cain, the Country Gentlemen, Stoneman Family & the Blue Grass Champs, plus Don Owens, Happy Johnny & Art Bart.

(*) Ash Grove, Los Angeles, CA, 29 August 1962:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Vernon Derrick & Roger Bush.
Tracks (Second set):- Pig In A Pen (*); Little Glass Of Wine; Steel Guitar Rag; East Virginia Blues; Please Help Me, I'm Falling; Long Journey Home; Katy Cline; Whoa Mule; Little Benny; Wicked Path Of Sin; Carolina Mountain Home (*); Nine Pound Hammer; No Letter Today (*); Rank Stranger.

NB:- Two sets from this date were recorded, with the 'early' show appearing on Stanley Series, Vol. 3 No. 2. Both sets have also resurfaced on youtube.

(16) Berkeley Little Theater, Berkeley, CA, 21st September 21 1962:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert & unknown.
Tracks:- Watermelon On The Vine; I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome; Cumberland Gap (*); Let Me Love You One More Time (#5); Old Love Letters; Fast Express (#49); Orange Blossom Special; Rovin' Gambler (#53); Carter Introduces the Instruments; Daybreak In Dixie; The Wreck Of The Old '97; Six Month's Ain't Long (#55); Nine Pound Hammer (#16); Rank Stranger; Cripple Creek (Theme); Salty Dog Blues; Hills Of Roane County (#32); Big Tilda; No More The Moon Shines On Lorena (#40); White Dove; Gathering Flowers For The Master's Bouquet; Mountain Dew (*); Vernon Derrick doing impersonations; Little Maggie (#10); True Life Blues; Back Up And Push; Little Glass Of Wine; I'm A Man Of Constant Sorrow; Mother's Not Dead (*); Daniel Prayed; Mastertone March (*); Dear Old Dixie (#20); Maple On The Hill (#13); Cripple Creek (Theme); Lonesome Road Blues (#30); Wicked Path Of Sin (#44).

NB:- Material from this show has previously circulated, but with poorer sound quality.

The Stanley Brothers - Polish Hall 1st December 1962 (Photo: Al Mjaanes)
(*) Polish Hall, Hempstead, Long Island, New York, 1st December 1962:
Personnel:- Ralph + Carter plus Curley Lambert, Vernon Derrick & Carl Chatzky.
Tracks:- Introduction; Watermelon On The Vine (*); I Know What It Means To Be Lonesome; Orange Blossom Special; Let Me Love You One More Time; Sunny Side Of The Mountain; Daybreak In Dixie; Cumberland Gap; What About You (*); No Letter Today; Hard Times; Rank Stranger; Ridin' That Midnight Train; Christmas Time's A Comin' (*); Vernon Derrick Impersonations; Jordan; If I Lose; Mansions For Me.

NB:- Concluding matters - this show was a double-header with the Louvin Brothers, and includes a rare version of the Stanley's performing Tex Logan's Christmas Time's A Comin' (first recorded by Bill Monroe). Sound quality on this one is a bit variable... but the NY audience are in fine spirits. A Great one to hear!



 

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