Copyright ©2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

American bluegrass musician Ralph Stanley has devoted his life to his music, singing and playing the banjo.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

He started performing with his brother Carter in 1946. One of their earliest hits was "Man of Constant Sorrow."

(Soundbite of song, "Man of Constant Sorrow")

Mr. RALPH STANLEY (Musician): (Singing) I am a man of constant sorrow. I've seen trouble all my days.

BLOCK: Carter Stanley died of cancer in 1966, but with encouragement from his fans, Ralph continued to tour and sing, and the bluegrass legend has written all about his music and career in a new memoir.

Mr. STANLEY: This book here?

BOB BOILEN: Yeah, that nice, little thing.

Mr. STANLEY: Yeah, I'm running around up here to advertise this book. I'd like to sell about 1,000 of them today here.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. STANLEY: If anybody wants one, "Man of Constant Sorrow."

BOILEN: Anything you left out you want to tell us about?

Mr. STANLEY: I didn't leave out a thing and may have added some stuff.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BLOCK: That's Ralph Stanley speaking with Bob Boilen of All Songs Considered. Stanley visited NPR in Washington and shared a few songs with us for our Tiny Desk Concert series.

Mr. STANLEY: (Singing) If you have.

That's a little high. Hit me a key somebody.

(Soundbite of song, "Gloryland")

Mr. STANLEY: (Singing) If you have friends in gloryland who left because of pain, thank God up there they'll die no more. They'll suffer not again. Then weep not friends, I'm going home. Up there we will die no more. No coffins will be made up there. No graves on that bright shore.

(Soundbite of applause)

BLOCK: That's 82-year-old bluegrass great, Ralph Stanley. His new memoir is called "Man of Constant Sorrow."

NORRIS: And if you want to hear and see more of Ralph Stanley's live performance, go to nprmusic.org.

(Soundbite of song, "Man of Constant Sorrow")

Mr. STANLEY: (Singing) Maybe your friends think I'm just a stranger, a face you never will see again. But there is one promise that is given. I'll meet you on God's golden shore.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: