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Remembering The Death Of Carter Stanley, The Forgotten Stanley Brother

Carter Stanley Death

It was unfortunate that Carter Stanley died young, just when he was beginning to see success in the music business.

On October 21, 1996, Stanley started hemorrhaging in the middle of a performance at a school auditorium in Hazel Green, Kentucky, that he had to depart immediately. Stanley had many years of alcohol abuse behind him – and he knew his downfall was coming. His health failed him quite many times, and he was even often bothered by how he could no longer sing like he used to.

While everyone expected Stanley to bounce back from his sick bed, things got worse instead. On December 1, 1966, Stanley died from cirrhosis of the liver. He was only 41 years old. 

In accordance with his request, Stanley was then buried in a tiny graveyard at the pencil point of a high hill on Smith Ridge, Virginia.

He Might Have Gone Too Soon, But His Star Has Never Dimmed

Carter Stanley is one of the most renowned and respected lead singers, songwriters, and rhythm guitar players in the bluegrass circles. While he formed the Stanley Brothers band alongside his brother Ralph Stanley, he was the driving force. Ralph, who was only a young boy at the time, mostly tagged along for the ride.

The Stanley Brothers kicked off their recording career in 1947. Since then, they’ve been considered the most revered sibling duo in country music history. Their recording of “Molly and Tenbrooks” is even considered the birth of bluegrass as a genre. Other notable Stanley Brothers songs are “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “A Lonesome Night,” “Bury Me Beneath the Weeping Willow,” and “A Man Of Constant Sorrow.”

In 1992, Stanley was inducted posthumously into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor.