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RALPH STANLEY '1971-1973 (4-CD box set)' REB-4001-4CD

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There may well be debate over which Ralph Stanley album is his best (he claims to have recorded well over 100 albums), but most of his fans will surely agree that his strongest period after brother Carter's death was the early 1970s, when his band included 3 of the finest artists that ever graced his band: Roy Lee Centers, Keith Whitley, and Ricky Skaggs. It's hard to believe he cut 8 albums between Feb. 1971 and March 1973, and there's not a weak cut to be heard here (the 8 LPs, all of them found on this set, included his lone album for King Bluegrass & a very rare Japan-only LP entitled JOHN HENRY). There's wonderful, soulful singing by Centers, powerful duets, and the great gospel material from the CRY FROM THE CROSS-LP --Stanley's first for Rebel and still one of the finest Bluegrass gospel records ever cut. Every phase of Ralph's work is well represented here --his old-time frailing songs, his solo ballads, classic Bluegrass duets & trios, a cappella gospel songs and more. A booklet with full discographical data & photos is included in this power-packed 4-CD boxed set with 96 songs & tunes. LITTLE BIRDIE, PRETTY POLLY, FLOOD OF '57, POISON LOVE, THESE MEN OF GOD, WHO WILL SING FOR ME, HARD TIMES, BOUND TO RIDE, A LITTLE BOY CALLED JOE, TRAIN 45, etc.