Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - Stanley Series, Vol. 2 No. 2

(Copper Creek CCSS-V2N2) 1984

Stanley Series, Vol. 2 No. 2
Rear Cover Side One Side Two Billboard 1st May 1961
Afternoon performance 28th May 1961 - Photo by Alice Gerrard

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This album contains performances by the Stanleys from Oak Leaf Park, Luray, Va on 28th May 1961 - only a week after their appearance at New River Ranch which is included on Stanley Series Vol. 1 No. 1. Fortunately only three tunes are duplicated on either recording (If I Lose, Sunny Side Of The Mountain and Clinch Mountain Backstep).

On 1st May 1961 Billboard had reported that: "Bill Clifton has contracted to operate Oak Leaf Park, Luray, Va., in conjunction with Richard F. Lewis Jr. radio stations in the Shenandoah Valley. Oak Leaf Park ushers in its new season May 28, with the Stanley Brothers as the features, and will run through September 17. Clifton will use c&w talent at the park on Sundays..."

At the time of the concert, The Stanley Brothers were without fiddle or mandolin, so there is much reliance on George Shuffler's lead guitar. He's quoted in the liner notes as saying:- "...that was in '61 when they'd pull me off my bass and put me on that confounded old guitar. Carter and Ralph really objected to it severely at first. the cross picking, they didn't want that. Bill Napier had been playing with them and they said 'Play it like a mandolin'. I said 'It's not a mandolin, I'm no mandolin player, and I'm not gonna play it like no mandolin. I'll take it home and shove it under the bed before I pick it like a mandolin anymore.' It wasn't until we got into the recording studios that I got any support. Chuck Seitz (recording engineer at King) was on my side and so was Syd Nathan (owner of King). They said 'Well that's original, that's what you're searching for, something different. The Delmore Brothers and all of them has picked this single string guitar stuff, let the boy do his thing."

As with the previous week's New River Ranch show, Chick Stripling is still absent, and bass duties this time are supplied by an unknown fill-in (see photo).[1]

It's intriguing to hear Ralph's version of Steel Guitar Rag, which is a great deal faster than Bob Wills' recording. The Stanley Brothers had cut the tune in Jan 1961, but it wasn't released until the 4xCD The Early Starday/King Years, 1958-1961 box set. Ralph also contributes a lightning fast Big Tilda, and Clinch Mountain Backstep.

Quality of the recording is excellent, and the vast majority of the dialogue is intact.

NB: George Shuffler sings lead on On Top Of Old Smokey.


For more detailed breakdown and background to the show, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 52-55, 126-127 and 156-157.

Side One:
Riding That Midnight Train

R. Stanley
On Top Of Old Smokey

Steel Guitar Rag

Leon McAuliffe
Old Love Letters

Johnny Bond
If I Lose

R. Stanley
Big Tilda

R. Stanley
Shenandoah Waltz

Clyde Moody / Chubby Wise
Propaganda Routine

Side Two:
I Saw The Light

Hank Williams

A Few More Years

Horatius Bonar
Mountain Dew

Bascom Lamar Lunsford / Scotty Wiseman
Sunny Side Of The Mountain

Harry C. McAuliffe / Bobby Gregory
Clinch Mountain Backstep

R. Stanley

Go To Top Of Page [1] Carter does mention in a sales pitch that 'Doug' will be telling people abot the albums they have for sale later on, so it may be that the bass player's first name was Doug.