This is the same institution that awarded Ralph Stanley his first honorary doctorate in 1976, and led to him being known as Dr. Ralph Stanley.
Steve is a native of the part of east Tennessee where LMU is sited, located just by the border with Kentucky near the Cumberland Gap. He grew up playing and singing traditional bluegrass, Gospel, and mountain music with his father, Don, who performed for many years with The Pinnacle Mountain Boys. As a young man, Steve made his first mark on the national bluegrass scene with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver in 1994, where his soaring tenor voice grabbed attention from his first time on stage with the band.
Gulley was also a founding member of Mountain Heart in 1998, and of Grasstowne in 2006. Both had successful runs, and both continue to ply their trades successfully following Steve’s departure. After Grasstowne, he worked for several years with Dale Ann Bradley and now fronts his own group, Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle.
He is also recognized as one of bluegrass music’s top songwriters, and runs one of Tennessee’s top acoustic studios, The Curve.
When he received the letter over the weekend announcing this recognition, Steve said he was stunned. “I’m still pinching myself about receiving this honor. Just can’t believe it. A great school that is a huge part of my home county, giving me their greatest honor. Unbelievable!”
Steve has worked with Lincoln Memorial for some time, and serves on the board of their Arts In The Gap arts initiative program.
Congratulations Steve, or should we say, Doc!