The Floyd Country Store is sponsoring a performance of a one-man play called A Life of Sorrow, the Life and Times of Carter Stanley. The program is slightly more than an hour long and touches on a variety of aspects from his rich and colorful life. With his brother, famed Appalachian performer Ralph Stanley, he fronted a bluegrass-styled band from 1946 until his untimely passing at the age of 41 in 1966. As the Stanley Brothers, they were second professional band to perform the style of music that came to be known as bluegrass.
Carter Stanley was an expressive singer and a prolific songwriter. Bill Monroe, the acknowledged Father of Bluegrass, once called him the “best natural lead singer” he’d ever heard. The songs he wrote and the recordings he made helped form the foundation of a music that is now a world-wide phenomenon. Gone from the music scene for nearly 50 years now, his legacy is largely forgotten. A Life of Sorrow affords today’s audiences a chance to connect with this bluegrass legend as he recounts highlights from his life and career, including childhood days on the family farm, old-time musicians who influenced him, his songwriting, struggles with alcohol, stories from life on the road, and his admiration for Bill Monroe.
A Life of Sorrow is the brainchild of Roanoke, Virginia, actor Gary Reid. A 40+ veteran of bluegrass music, he is regarded as the foremost authority on the music of the Stanley Brothers. He spent many years researching a book that will be published in early 2015 by the University of Illinois Press called The Music of the Stanley Brothers. It traces their 20 year recording history. In 2009, he conceived the idea of putting together a one-man show about Carter Stanley. To that end, he took two semesters of acting at Virginia Western Community College and has since appeared in more than 60 productions and events at regional community theatres as an actor, producer, and stage manager and has appeared in several short films and commercials.
For further information, contact: David Cannaday, (540) 483-3373, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Gary Reid, PO Box 13413, Roanoke VA 24033, (540) 982-6900, CopCrk@gmail.com
“The show was great. You looked GREAT… The size of the house was great... I think you have a hit on your hands.” Charlie Boswell, director, Roanoke, Virginia.
“Wow!!!! Fantastic!!!” William Joppich, board member at Attic Productions in Fincastle, Virginia.
“I had no idea that you would be performing today. Just stopped by the library. It was an amazing
performance. All the best to you in your project.” Susan Saandholland, photographer, Lynchburg, Virginia.
“I think you've got something special here, and I congratulate you for realizing a dream!” Penny Parsons, Penny Parsons Publicity, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
“What an awe inspiring performance.” Wanda Dalton, bluegrass songwriter, Floyd, Virginia