Dr. Ralph Stanley Hospitalized After Fall, Requires Surgery

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88-year-old bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley is recovering in the hospital after suffering a serious fall last week, resulting a fractured pelvic bone. He was first admitted to the hospital on September 26, and also underwent minor surgery to install a pacemaker on Saturday. Stanley has canceled some of his upcoming events due to the health issue, but is expected to recover.

“I want to thank everyone for their prayers and concerns they have shown for my papaw,” Ralph’s grandson and protégé Nathan Stanley says. “He is currently recovering in the hospital from a fractured pelvis. I was with him all of last night, this morning, and this evening. His doctors say he is doing very well and will have a complete recovery. This man is my life and he is the only Dad I’ve ever known. He is one tough individual! I’m so thankful to the Good Lord for watching over him for so long. Doctors say he will get to come home Friday or Saturday.”

Ralph Stanley began his career in 1946 with his older brother Carter, touring and recording as the Stanley Brothers before Carter’s death in 1966. Over those 69 years, Ralph Stanley has mentored the likes of Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley, won three Grammy Awards, been inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, and been a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Possibly his most crowning achievement was his participation in the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack in 2000 that sold over 7 million records and opened the gift of bluegrass to a whole new generation. He was also asked to join the Grand Ole Opry in 2000.

Stanley announced a farewell tour in June of 2013, and was planning to hang it up after a final 80 dates. But in December of 2014, he decided to continue on. “I meant it at the time, but I’ve decided to leave it up to the good Lord.”