Tickets are on sale now for Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, in Farewell Tour concert at the Strand Theatre Thursday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Ralph Stanley, considered the patriarch of traditional and bluegrass music, has performed continually since 1946 and has recorded more than 170 albums. Stanley is one of the last living founders of a distinctly American art form that blends rural-based lyrics with fluid, jazz-like instrumental improvisations. His music — particularly his high, mournful vocals — is so raw, powerful and authentic that it has moved and inspired performers from all musical genres. Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Dwight Yoakam, Vince Gill, Jerry Garcia, Hal Ketchum, Patty Loveless, John Anderson all credit Stanley as a major inspiration.

In 1946, Stanley formed the legendary Stanley Brothers duo along with his older brother Carter Stanley. The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys became one of the most popular brother acts in country music history. The Stanley Brothers traveled together for 20 years, recording some of the most mournful mountain songs to date, until the tragic death of 41-year-old Carter Stanley in 1966.

The Clinch Mountain Boys currently include Nathan Stanley, Ralph Stanley II, Dewey Brown, Randall Joe Hibbitts , James Alan Shelton, and Mitchell Van Dyke. Some of country and bluegrass music’s biggest stars came from Stanley’s former bands including Ricky Skaggs, Larry Sparks and the late Keith Whitley.

In 1976, Stanley received an honorary doctorate of music from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn. In 1984, he was the recipient of the National Heritage Award” given by President Ronald Reagan. In 1992, he was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor and in 2000, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2002, Stanley received his first-ever Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his haunting rendition of “Oh Death,” featured in the movie and soundtrack of “O Brother Where Art Thou.” In 2006, he received the Living Legend award from the Library of Congress and National Medal of Arts given by President George W. Bush.

Tickets are $37.50 in advance and will be $42.50 day of show. The theater is located at 345 Main St. For more information on all upcoming live concerts, films, HD broadcasts and events at the Strand, visit; call 594-0070, ext. 3; or email

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or