Festival Founders: Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley

Bluegrass pioneers Bill Monroe and Ralph Stanley helped establish the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival in 1972 as the first bluegrass festival in the Northeast. They would co-headline each of the first three years of the festival and return several times in later years. Monroe is represented with a fine rendition of “Put My Little Shoes Away” (1973), along with one of his classic late career mandolin pieces, “Old Ebenezer Scrooge” (1981). Two of Stanley’s finest lead singers are heard here in Roy Lee Centers and Keith Whitley. Centers gives a rare live performance of “Poison Love,” months before his untimely death in the spring of 1974, while a young Whitley provides a soulful take on the Stanley Brothers classic “Rank Stranger” from the 1974 festival.

Poison Love (by Ralph Stanley), 1973

Rank Stranger (by Ralph Stanley), 1974

Put My Little Shoes Away (by Bill Monroe), 1973

Old Ebenezer Scrooge (by Bill Monroe), 1981

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Festival Founders: Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley