Ralph Stanley autobiography hits in October

30671258.jpgRalph Stanley is to publish his autobiography, Man of Constant Sorrow: My Life and Times on October 15.

The book covers Stanley’s entire musical career, from his start in 1946 as the younger member of the Stanley Brothers through to his emergence in 2000 as a solo superstar following the release of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack album.

The forthcoming book has already caused a stir in Nashville with some criticism of country singer Tim McGraw. CMT News published a piece earlier today, which has now been taken down, that carried the following paragraph:

He takes on Tim McGraw, both for his music (“He wouldn’t know a real country song if it kicked him in the ass”) and for being disrespectful toward him when he beat out McGraw and others in 2002 for the Grammy for best male country vocal performance. Stanley also admits he still holds a grudge against the late John Duffey of the Seldom Scene for playing demeaning pranks on other bands. Oddly enough, the 82-year-old singer has nothing but fond memories of Bill Monroe, one of his early idols, even though he acknowledges Monroe quit Columbia Records in protest when that label signed the Stanley Brothers. His book is full of colorful details, such as the fact that the late Keith Whitley, while in Stanley’s band, used to style his boss’ hair before they went onstage.

CMT said that Stanley also reflects on what some might view as his own shortcomings, including his failed first marriage, his tendency to treat music primarily as a business and his refusal to hire Yankees to play in his the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Man of Constant Sorrow was written with Eddie Dean and will be published by Gotham Books. We will have many more details about this book shortly.

Pre-orders are already enabled at Barnes & Noble.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.