Music: The Real Man of Constant Sorrow

Ralph Stanley has been performing the music he calls old-time mountain soul since 1946, but only recently has he started attracting audiences beyond folk and bluegrass festivals. "I've got 4-year-olds wandering up to me now and singing O Death," Stanley says of his star turn on the O Brother, Where Art Thou? sound track. "It's pretty funny."

While his new audience may be a tad precious, Stanley is anything but. Growing up in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia in the 1930s, he learned the banjo from his mother while his brother Carter took guitar lessons from the mailman. The Stanley Brothers...

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