Ralph Stanley to Be Inducted as Fellow of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley will be receiving a major honor Saturday (Oct. 11). The 87-year-old will be formally inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining an impressive list of famous public figures that have been recognized by the organization.
The class Stanley will be inducted into includes actor and director Al Pacino, novelists John Irving and Annie Proulz, Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and oceanographer and discoverer of the Titanic, Robert Ballard. The celebrated singer will be inducted formally into the Academy at its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Founded in 1780, the Academy recognizes America's greatest thinkers and doers. Past honorees include George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Martin Luther King, Jr., among others, and the pool of recipients includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. As a three-time Grammy winner, Stanley fits right into this impressive crowd.
Even though Stanley is close to 90 years old, his contributions as bluegrass' founding father continue to be applauded, and for good reason. In 1976, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Lincoln Memorial University, and he received one again in 2014 from Yale.
His farewell tour, aptly named the Man of Constant Sorrow Tour: the Dr.'s Farewell, runs through December, boasting more than 80 shows. Even though it's his last tour, Stanley's website assures fans: “Dr. Ralph Stanley will NOT be retiring this year. Even though this was the original plan, Dr. Stanley still is feeling great and going strong.”
Stanley adds, “God has had his hand on my career for the past 68 years. It’s up to him when I will quit. I have no plans of slowing down. I love my fans, and I love performing.” He also stated in 2011, “I’d just like people to know I don’t have any set time to retire. I plan to play on as long as I’m able and the good Lord’s willing.”