Clinch Mountain Echo

The Stanley Brothers - Riding That New River Train

(Stanleytone ST-5002) 2001


Ridin' That New River Train
CD Rear Cover CD Tray Cassette Inlay Cassette Inlay
Carter Stanley - 27th August 1961 LR: Ralph, Carter, George Shuffler (hidden), Jack Cooke, Carl Chatski Carter Stanley - New River Ranch 1961

This recording was made on Sunday 27th August 1961 at the New River Ranch, Rising Sun, Md. i.e. Carter's 36th birthday! It was also only 8 days after their father Lee Stanley had died,[1] so it's quite surprising that the performance is upbeat, with the band seemingly in fine spirits.

Ralph:- "Lee had been doing poorly, and we'd known that the day was going to come sooner rather than later, but Carter really took that hard. He was closer to Lee than I was, and I think it weighted on him heavy, he wasn't as strong as he once was."[2]

The gig included George Shuffler on lead guitar, and guest appearances by Jack Cooke on bass and Carl Hawkins (aka Carl Chatski/Chatsky) on mandolin. Most of the songs are fairly typical of the other 1961 sets that have been released, but Ralph's performance of Bill Monroe's I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home and Jack Cooke's rendition of Used To Be may be unique to this set.

Ralph's Man Of Constant Sorrow features some unusual unison vocal singing in parts, possibly by Jack Cooke, and much to the amusement of the other band members.

Pretty Polly is also a bit unusual, as Ralph adds an extra verse, wherein the protangonist gets on a ship and sails out to sea, only to hit a rock and sink!

The show was also interrupted by some yellow jackets, which prompts Carter to adlib a little during Old Love Letters and later calls are made from the stage to find and destroy the nest. Ralph:- "There was a hive tucked in the roof of the stage. Somehow, around the time I played 'Clinch Mountain Backstep', that old forward roll on the banjo got 'em all stirred up and they started swarming.... We had to stop the show for a while and clear the hive out."[3]

The album comes with extensive liner notes by Gary B. Reid.

The show was taped by Leon Kagarise and has much of the intersong dialogue intact. Quality is pretty good, although the latter half sounds like it may play slightly too fast.

As with the other Stanleytone releases, this was sold at Ralph's gigs and via his fanclub. It does however seem to be much harder to find than the other fan club albums... If anyone has a copy of the CD for sale please get in touch!!

Thanks to Chris Wing for the cassette scans.

 

For more detailed breakdown and background to the show, check Gary B. Reid's The Music Of The Stanley Brothers book, pages 129 and 158-159.

NB: (a) Jack Cooke sings lead on Molly And Tenbrook and Used To Be.
(b) George Shuffler sings lead on Happy Birthday, Willy Roy and On Top Of Old Smoky.

Track:
Title:
Side One:
(28:57)
1
Steel Guitar Rag

Leon McAuliffe
2
Introduction

N/A
3
Old Love Letters

Johnny Bond
4
Commentary

N/A
5
Riding That Midnight Train

R. Stanley
6
Molly And Tenbrooks

Bill Monroe
7
If I Lose

R. Stanley
8
Jordan

P.D.
9
I'm On My Way Back To The Old Home

Bill Monroe
10
Clinch Mountain Backstep

Ruby Rakes
11
God Gave You To Me

R. Stanley
12
Band introductions

N/A
13
Willy Roy

P.D.
14
How Mountain Girls Can Love

Ruby Rakes
15
Next Sunday Darling Is My Birthday

Syd Nathan / Arthur Q. Smith
16
Happy Birthday

Mildred Hill / Patty Hill ?
Side Two:
(28:04)
1
The Window Up Above

George Jones
2
The White Dove

C. Stanley
3
Used To Be

Bill Monroe
4
Man Of Constant Sorrow

R.D. Burnett
5
Rank Stranger

Albert E. Brumley
6
On Top Of Old Smoky

P.D.
7
A Few More Years

Horatius Bonar
8
Pretty Polly

P.D.
9
Daybreak In Dixie

Bill Napier
10
How Far To Little Rock

Ruby Rakes
11
Cumberland Gap

P.D.

Go To Top Of Page [1] Fitzhugh Lee Stanley died 19th Aug 1961 - www.ancestry.co.uk and David W. Johnson's book 'Lonesome Melodies - The Lives And Music Of The Stanley Brothers' (p.90)
[2] Ralph Stanley and Eddie Dean's book 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' (p. 229)
[3] Ralph Stanley and Eddie Dean's book 'Man Of Constant Sorrow' (p. 361)