Prince of Bluegrass, or King of Rock & Roll?

Nathan Stanley with Ryan O'Quinn on the set of Believe in downtown Bristol, VAThat’s the question moviegoers may be asking about Nathan Stanley later this year when Believe, a new film from Billy Dickson, hits the screens in time for the 2016 holiday market.

The movie tells the story of a small town business owner whose company falls on hard times, and is no longer able to sponsor the annual Christmas event that the town depends on. He is vilified by the local residents and becomes persona non grata in his own home town, until an unlikely pairing with a ten year old boy saves him, the town, and the Christmas pageant.

The Christian-based, family-friendly film will star Ryan O’Quinn, who successfully steered the producers to shoot the movie in his native southwestern Virginia, though the original script placed the story in rural Pennsylvania. A Grundy native, Ryan convinced the production team that they would find the suitable scenes and settings, plus the industrial buildings and locations that were needed, in Grundy, Bristol, and in-and-around Buchanan County.

Nathan Stanley... or The King?Stanley, grandson of the estimable Dr. Ralph, was slated for a role as a singer performing and emceeing at a Christmas concert in the film, but was surprised to also be asked to serve as an extra in a number of scenes done up as Elvis. Close followers of the younger Stanley know of his penchant for adopting the dress and mannerisms of The King on ocassion, and should be scanning the crowd scenes in Believe for his incognito appearances.

A November release is anticipated in roughly 1500 theaters across the US. The film will be promoted to church and faith-based groups. Other actors appearing include Shawnee Smith, Danielle Nicolet, David DeLuise, Kevin Sizemore, and Isaac Ryan Brown.

Dr Ralph Stanley - The Definitive CollectionNathan has another project this spring that he’s excited about, a new collection of songs from his famous grandfather called The Definitive Collection. It will include 22 classic Ralph Stanley recordings chosen by Nathan to represent the good Doctor’s remarkable career in bluegrass, taken from the dozens of albums he has recorded since the loss of his brother and singing partner, Carter, in 1966.

You’ll find favorites like Little Maggie, Man Of Constant Sorrow, Little Boy Called Joe, Rank Stranger and duet arrangements with Josh Turner and Nathan.

Look for this CD anthology from popular online resellers starting on April 26. Autographed copies can be obtained by calling (615) 491-2074.

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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.