Dr Ralph Stanley Forever tribute concert this month

Nathan Stanley has organized an all-star concert to honor the memory of his grandfather, the great Ralph Stanley, with whom he had toured during the last years of Ralph’s life. It will feature a couple dozen bluegrass and country stars eager to share their love for Dr. Ralph and his music at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on October 19.

Billed as Dr. Ralph Stanley Forever – A Special Tribute Concert, the show will feature performances by Lee Ann Womack, Blue Highway, Peter Rowan, The Band Of Ruhks, Judy Marshall, Larry Cordle, John Cowan, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, David Ball, and many, many others. Nathan will appear, as will Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys, all singing and playing their favorite songs from the deep catalog of Ralph Stanley and The Stanley Brothers music.

The show was in the early planning stages a few years ago when Ralph’s health began to deteriorate, and Nathan tells us that the only thing that made sense was to keep moving forward.

“We started talking about having this tribute concert for Papaw back before he had gotten real sick. After he passed, with my Mamaw’s blessing, we decided to carry on with it. Papaw deserves this and so much more.

We reached out to Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, Del McCoury, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch but all had commitments/gigs they could not get out of. Some are sending in videos to play during the show.”

More artists are being added to the roster as they learn about the concert, but the list as of today includes:

  • Lee Ann Womack 
  • Blue Highway 
  • Nathan Stanley 
  • Peter Rowan 
  • Jesse McReynolds 
  • John Cowan 
  • Stella Parton 
  • Ben “Cooter” Jones
  • Hedi Newfield
  • Ralph Stanley II & The Clinch Mountain Boys 
  • Eddy Raven 
  • Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road 
  • Emi Sunshine
  • Jamie O’Neal
  • Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
  • Buddy Jewel 
  • Andy Griggs 
  • The Roys 
  • Darin & Brooke Aldridge 
  • The Bluegrass Outlaws 
  • David Ball 
  • Gary Brewer & The Kentucky Ramblers 
  • Jeff Bates
  • Joe Hott
  • Kristi Stanley & Running Blind 
  • Band Of Ruhks 
  • Judy Marshall 
  • The Freemans 

A portion of the proceeds from the show will be donated to the Opry Trust fund, MusiCares, and St. Jude’s Children’s research hospital.

Ralph’s widow, Mrs. Jimmie Stanley tells us that she “encourages everyone to come and attend this special event honoring my late husband. It will certainly be a special night for me.”

Tickets are available through Ticketmaster, and range from $45 to $125 each.

It’s a safe bet that no one will be forgetting Ralph Stanley and his music anytime soon, but if you want to remember it with a bevy of bluegrass and country luminaries, October 19 in Nashville sounds like a prime opportunity.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.