Watch Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs Sing at Ralph Stanley’s Funeral
Bluegrass icon Ralph Stanley was laid to rest on Tuesday (June 28), during an evening service in Virginia attended by loved ones, hundreds of fans and a number of country names -- including Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and Ricky Skaggs. The three artists paid tribute to Stanley with a performance of "Go Rest High on That Mountain."
As country fans know, Gill began penning "Go Rest High on That Mountain" following Keith Whitley's death in 1989, but he didn't finish it until after his older brother, Bob, passed away in 1993. The singer tells those in attendance that "if it had not been for the music of the Stanley Brothers, especially Ralph's voice, I wouldn't have known how to write this song, and I wouldn't have known how to sing this song."
Readers can press play on the video above to watch Gill, Loveless and Skaggs' performance. Loveless and Skaggs contributed background vocals to the original recording of "Go Rest High on That Mountain."
"It means the world to me that, in some small way, i mattered to Ralph," Gill said at the service, recalling Stanley's "life-changing" voice. "That was the voice, out of all the voices I ever heard in bluegrass music, that was the most mournful, it was the most soulful, and it reached deep inside of me more than any other voice I ever heard in bluegrass."
Loveless, who recorded the song "Pretty Polly" with Stanley, shared with those at the funeral about how performing that song with him helped her career: "I mean, I had a career," she said, "but it just raised it even further."
"He was the one that taught me how to sing. When I was a little girl, I didn't know it, but when I would listen -- when Daddy would listen and Mom would listen to the music ... it reached inside my heart, and I continue to try my best to touch people's lives as Ralph did with his voice," Loveless reflects. "His voice was his instrument -- and how beautiful it was -- and he reached so many, all over this world."
Stanley, a singer and banjo player credited with developing the "Stanley Style" of banjo playing, passed away on June 23, at the age of 89, due to difficulties from skin cancer. Throughout his career, Stanley received numerous accolades, including an honorary Doctorate of Music; induction into the International Music Bluegrass Hall of Honor and the Grand Ole Opry; and a Grammy for one of his contributions to O Brother, Where Art Thou?
WYMT recorded all of Stanley's funeral service. Fans can press play below to watch the full event.
Watch Ralph Stanley's Funeral Service
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