Clinch Mountain Echo

Ralph Stanley's 50 Year Reunion

(Neon 8001-3) 1996


Ralph Stanley's 50 Year Reunion
Rear Cover Neon Advert Reunion DVD
50th Anniversary Memory Book Festival Line Up (from Memory Book) Festival Line Up (from Memory Book)
Lester Woodie Art Stamper and James Alan Shelton
Joe Meadows The CMB's with George Shuffler and Larry Sparks
Larry Sparks The CMB's with George Shuffler and Larry Sparks
The CMB's with Joe Isaacss Ricky Lee and Ralph
The CMB's with Jr Blankenship and Charlie Sizemore Jack Cooke, Ralph and Sammy Adkins
The CMB's... The CMB's with Ralph 'Hank' Smith and Ernie Thacker
Ralph and Kenneth Davies Ralph with Ricky Skaggs
The Closing Finale...

Average Album Rating: 5
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This is the first of three videos on Dwight O. Bailey's "Neon" label, and it is I think the best of the three. Featuring footage from Ralph's 26th Annual Memorial Festival in May 1996, it celebrates Ralph's 50th anniversary as a musician, with 'reunion' performances by Ralph and many of the surviving Clinch Mountain Boys. It also includes short clips of some of the fans and musicians paying tribute to Ralph, and a couple of songs with Dave Evans and Larry Sparks (itself a mini reunion as Dave had not long been released from jail.[1])

Featured members of the Clinch Mountain Boy alumni include: Lester Woodie, Art Stamper, Joe Meadows, George Shuffler, Larry Sparks, Ricky Lee, Charlie Sizemore, Jr. Blankenship, Sammy Adkins, Ernie Thacker, Ralph 'Hank' Smith, Kenneth Davies, Joe Isaacs and Ricky Skaggs. Plus of course all the then current CMB's:-

Surprisingly, although Melvin Goins appears as one of the talking heads, he isn't on any of the reunion performances that made it to the video. He is however on the 2-CD set that Ralph released of the show on his Clinch Mountain Boys Reunion album, with a sequence of old Stanley Brothers jokes.

Some of the performances are occasionally a bit rough and ready, but it's unrehearsed nature also adds to the spontaneous feel of the recordings, and it is magical to see Ralph with the various musicians that helped create and maintain the 'Stanley' sound down through the decades.

In addition to the regular CMB performances there's also one song apiece by Dwight Yoakum with Ralph guesting on Miner's Prayer, and The Marshall Family, who Ralph helped introduce to the Bluegrass festival scene. The Isaacs also join Ralph and the CMB's for one song, while the featured song with Ricky Skaggs, sees Ralph singing tenor with Ricky's band rather Ricky performing with the CMB's.

The video was later reissued on DVD-R, which was available for a time from County Sales. Picture quality on this is obviously better than what could be reproduced on VHS tape, but neither are that easy to find nowadays. Sound is also consistently good throughout, and the video was recorded with multiple cameras, with plenty of close-up shots.

Overall, it is a well put together set which will make most Stanley fans happy. Obviously Ralph's banjo playing was past it's best by 1996, but he is featured on the old 5-string on most of the tracks, with Steve Sparkman assisting on just three.

Playing time is approx. 1 hour 27 mins.

PS: For some reason the artwork for DVD-R has the same pictures of Dwight Whitley and Ralph which were used on the later 'On The Road' With Ralph Stanley VHS tape. Dwight of course, was one of Keith Whitley's brothers and though he doesn't appear on the reunion show, is on the 'On The Road'... release.

Track:
Title:
Lead Vocal:
Banjo:
Guitar:
Fiddle:
Mandolin:
Lead Guitar:
Bass:
1
Theme
Ralph II Stanley
Ralph Stanley / Steve Sparkman
Ralph II Stanley
Lester Woodie
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

C. Stanley / R. Stanley
2
Black Mountain Blues

Ralph Stanley
Ralph II Stanley
Lester Woodie
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

Leslie Keith
3
Man Of Constant Sorrow
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph II Stanley
Lester Woodie
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

R.D. Burnett
4
Kansas City Railroad Blues

Ralph Stanley
Ralph II Stanley
Art Stamper
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

P.D. ?
5
Orange Blossom Special

Ralph Stanley
Ralph II Stanley
Joe Meadows
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

Ervin T. Rouse
6
Miner's Prayer
Dwight Yoakum
Ralph Stanley
Dwight Yoakum





Dwight Yoakam
7
Will You Miss Me
Larry Sparks
Ralph Stanley
Larry Sparks
James Price
John Rigsby
George Shuffler
Jack Cooke

A.P. Carter
8
Hills Of Roane County
Joe Isaacss
Ralph Stanley
Joe Isaacss
James Price
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

Willis Maberry
9
Bill Cheatum

Ralph Stanley
Ralph II Stanley
James Price
John Rigsby
Ricky Lee
Jack Cooke

P.D.
10
Lonesome Old Home
Charlie Sizemore
Ralph Stanley
Charlie Sizemore
James Price
John Rigsby
Jr Blankenship
Jack Cooke

Curnie Wilson / Russell Wilson / Ed Hamilton
11
Way Down Deep
Sammy Adkins
Ralph Stanley
Sammy Adkins
James Price
John Rigsby

Jack Cooke

Max Duane Barnes / Max Troy Barnes
12
I Need Jesus
The Marshall Family







P.D.
13
Meet Me Tonight
James King
Ralph Stanley
James King
James Price
John Rigsby
Ralph II Stanley
Jack Cooke

Joseph Augustine Wade
14
Let Me Love You One More Time
Ralph II Stanley
Ralph Stanley / Steve Sparkman
Ralph II Stanley
James Price
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
George Shuffler

R. Stanley
15
Long Gone
Ernie Thacker
Ralph Stanley
Ernie Thacker
James Price
John Rigsby
Ralph 'Hank' Smith
Jack Cooke

Don Reno / Red Smiley
16
Another Night
Kenneth Davies
Ralph Stanley
Kenneth Davies
James Price
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

Jack Adkins
17
She's More To Be Pitied
Ricky Skaggs / Ralph Stanley
??
??
??

??
??

Ruby Rakes
18
We Shall Meet Someday
Joe Isaacs
Ralph Stanley
Joe Isaacs
James Price
?? Isaacss
James Alan Shelton
Ben Isaacs

T. Teddie
19
Ninety-Nine Years
Dave Evans
Dave Evans
Larry Sparks
James Price


George Shuffler

??
20
I Don't Want Your Rambling Letters
Dave Evans
Dave Evans
Larry Sparks
James Price


George Shuffler / Jack Cooke

Nathaniel Nathan / Ray Starr / Gene C. Redd
21
The Lonesome River
Ralph II Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Ralph II Stanley
James Price
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jack Cooke

C. Stanley
22



The Hills Of Home
Ralph Stanley
Ralph Stanley
Steve Sparkman
Ralph II Stanley
Dave Evans
Charlie Sizemore
Larry Sparks
James Price
Art Stamper
John Rigsby
James Alan Shelton
Jr. Blankenship
Ralph 'Hank' Smith
George Shuffler

Wendy Smith / R. Stanley

 


Go To Top Of Page [1] A hearing for an application for furlough to a halfway house was held on 20th May 1995: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/rec.music.country.old-time/RTUa1CJ1MIg
Also see: https://bluegrasstoday.com/daves-evans-passes/