Clinch Mountain Echo

Bill Wicker with Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys - It's Never Too Late

(No label C-3080) 1988?

It's Never Too Late
Full Sleeve

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This is one of two cassettes Ralph recorded with Bill Wicker, who was born in Mallie, Ky in 1948 but later moved to Edgerton, Ohio. I'm not exactly sure of the date, but John Arms who knew Bill at the time thinks it's a pretty close guess. There was also a second all Gospel cassette, Sacred Songs From The Past released a couple of years later.

This cassette was recorded at Maggard Studios in Big Stone Gap, Va. and contains some pretty good renditions of ten Stanley Brothers/Ralph Stanley numbers, with Bill Wicker on lead vocals (and presumably guitar).

Some of the track titles are a bit garbled on the artwork... I'll Have A New Love is You Know I'll Be Lonesome; Blotter, Eraser And Strings is String, Eraser And Blotter and Best Girl This Poor Boy Ever Had should be Highway Of Regret.

Bill was apparently offered a job as a CMB by Ralph at a festival in Tecumseh, Mi. but declined, as he had a steady job at an Indiana foundry. He later became a minister.

The cassette line up below is now more or less confirmed... but I'm not sure whether Ernie Thacker is on mandolin - or if Bill Wicker played mandolin? If anyone can help fill in the gaps please get in touch via the Contact page.

It's pretty amazing that recordings like this exist... Thanks to John Arms and Steve Wisener for the updates.

Side One:
It's Never Too Late (To Start Over)

C. Stanley
You Know I'll Be Lonesome

R. Stanley
String, Eraser And Blotter

Shorty Long / John A. Speca
All I Ever Loved Is You

Dorothy Mae Skaggs
Rock Bottom

Gene Duty / R. Stanley
Side Two:
If That's The Way You Feel

Peggy Stanley / R. Stanley
Highway Of Regret

Donald 'Chubby' Anthony
You're Going Away

Lee Allen
I'm Only Human

Jimmy Wells
That Lonesome Old Song

Gene Duty / R. Stanley

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