Clinch Mountain Echo

Ralph Stanley - Live at Watermelon Park

Berryville, Virginia 1969

(Stanleytone records STR-1105) 2005

Live at Watermelon Park
Rear Cover CD Tray Bill Monroe - Ralph Stanley

Average Album Rating: 4
(Total votes 10)

  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

Please rate this album:

This CD was released on Ralph's Stanleytone label and sold at gigs and via the Dr Ralph Stanley Fan Club.

The recording is from the Carlton Haney' Berryville festival, 4th - 6th July 1969. Tracks 1-7 are from the afternoon performance on Friday the 4th, the remainder could be from either the evening performance on the 4th or the following day.

Ken Landreth's recordings from this festival [1] include tracks 1-7, but also include the first part of this Friday afternoon set, which opens with Pig In A Pen, Curly Ray's eponymous fiddle tune Curly Ray and Don't Step Over An Old Love. The first three numbers are performed without any bass - Ed Ferris being called upon to help out, which he did for the rest of the weekend.

On the Ken Landreth tape, the sales pitch at the end of the first set is partly 'cut' which would indicate that it's not the source for this CD. Also, the second set (tracks 8-17) are not featured on Ken's tapes.

The short version of Roanoke at the end of the first set, suggests that the band may have been using it as an opening/closing theme tune.

The other material recorded by Ken includes 5 tracks from the Saturday afternoon performance on the 5th: Black Mountain Blues / I Only Exist / Little Maggie / Man of Constant Sorrow & a snippet of Daybreak In Dixie. Here Ralph says that they'd recently returned from a west coast / Oregon tour & thanks Steve Waller (Sawtooth Mountain Boys)... also the band hadn't yet recorded I Only Exist.

For the Sunday morning set, Lonnie Bowlin who filled in on guitar, is absent & the band perform: What Kind of Man Jesus Is / Going Up Home to Live in Green Pastures / Shouting on the Hills of Glory / Little Bessie and Somebody Touched Me.

The afternoon / evening is taken up by Carlton Haney's 'Bluegrass Story' and pt. 3 includes performances of I'm On My Way Back to the Old Home and Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake with Bill Monroe, Ralph, Curly Ray Cline, Larry Sparks and Bill Yates on bass. Fred Bartenstein then plays True Life Blues (See picture) and Jimmy Martin is brought on for White Dove and Lonesome River, before Bill and Ralph lead on Clinch Mountain Backstep.

Some of the other performers at the festival included: Bill Monroe; Jimmy Martin; Country Gentlemen; Don Reno & Bill Harrell; Mac Wiseman; Del McCoury; Osborne Brothers; Maybelle Carter; Jimmy Arnold & Wesley Golding; Curtis Blackwell, Randall Collins & the Dixie Bluegrass Boys; Jim Eanes & the Shenandoah Valley Cutups; Bill Emerson, Cliff Waldron & the Lee Highway Boys; and The Goins Brothers. (Melvin Goins had left Ralph on 18th May 1969 [2]).

The Cover photo for the CD by Phil Zimmerman was taken at the Country Gentlemen's 1972 Bluegrass Festival at Indian Ranch, Webster MA. For more photos see his website.

Roughly one week after this festival, the band recorded the Hills Of Home album.

Poor Rambler

R. Stanley / Curly Ray Cline
Man Of Constant Sorrow

R.D. Burnett
Long Journey Home

R. Stanley
Little Maggie

Going Up Home To Live In Green Pastures

Avril Gearheart / R. Stanley
Black Mountain Blues

William York

Bill Monroe (aka Joe Ahr)
Riding That Midnight Train

R. Stanley
Lost Train Blues

Curly Ray Cline
Standing Room Only

Ray Pennington
Pretty Polly

Think Of What You've Done

C. Stanley
Hills Of Roane County

William Maberry
Stone Walls And Steel Bars

Ray Pennington / Roy E. Marcum
Shouting On The Hills

C. Stanley
Orange Blossom Special

Ervin T. Rouse
Little Bessie


Go To Top Of Page [1]
[2] Melvin left 18th May 1969 - liner notes to The Goins Brothers - Bluegrass Hits Old & New (REM LP-1041) 1969