Arden Lambert


April 5, 2019


April 5, 2019


April 5, 2019

“Man of Constant Sorrow” has an interesting history as to who wrote it. However, many believed that it was written by a blind man known as Dick Burnett because he was the first to record it. Burnett’s version is used less because most artists recorded  Emry Arthur’s version (Burnett’s friend). Although there were little variations in the lyrics.

The Stanley Brothers’ Version of “Man of Constant Sorrow”

This popular American folk song was recorded by The Stanley Brothers in 1950. Their version differs from the original because they changed it to a faster tempo. Their version inspired other artists such as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and more to record their rendition.

Soggy Bottom Boys

The only group to make the song enter the Billboard country chart was Soggy Bottom Boys. They made their song reach number thirty-five on the chart. Aside from entering the chart, it also won the CMA Single of the Year. The Soggy Bottom Boys’ rendition was part of the soundtrack of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Alison Krauss’ Rendition

However, we’re not only here for other versions. We are also going to take a look at the recording of Alison Krauss. Since Krauss is one of the best bluegrass singers, we can expect a wonderful version of this folk song.

alison krauss man of constant sorrow the stanley brothers
Photo Credit: Alison Krauss/ Dan Macmedan/

Krauss, together with her band Union Station, released their first live album in 2002. The songs recorded in their album was from her concert at the Louisville Palace, Kentucky.

There are twenty-five songs in the album, and it came into two parts. Krauss has also included her rendition of “When You Say Nothing at All.”

Chart Performance

None of the tracks were released as a single. Therefore, it wasn’t able to secure a spot on the chart. However, the album made it to number one on the Bluegrass category of the Billboard chart. In addition, it also held spots on the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums chart.

Listen to Krauss’ version of “Man of Constant Sorrow.”


Alison Krauss, The Stanley Brothers



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