Pilgrimage by Jeanie Stanley

Hi, Folks! For so long now I’ve been on my very own musical pilgrimage to get to know my father. I know that may sound strange, but it’s the truth. I was only four-years-old when my Dad, Carter Stanley, passed away at the young age of 41. I’ve listened to every recording I could get my hands on, listening for his voice, a laugh, a joke, anything that would shed some light on who he was.

For those of you who don’t know me, I recorded a tribute album “Baby Girl: A Tribute to My Father, Carter Stanley” that was released by CMH Records in June of 2005. It was a collection of Carter Stanley’s songs, all but one, anyway.  pilgrimag

On the particular song that wasn’t my father’s, I blended my voice with his on the chorus. Evidently, that can only be done if his voice was the only one on the track. For that reason, I picked a live recording of “Dream of A Miner’s Child” that was recorded at the Chicago Folk Festival in 1961. That was something I’d away’s wanted to do, get to sing with my father.  pilgrimage

Of his five children, I was the only one ever to pick and sing. I was accompanied on the recording by Dr. Ralph Stanley, Ralph Stanley II, Joe Isaacs, Stacy York, John Rigsby, James Alan Shelton, Steve Sparkman, Todd Meade & Jack Cooke. Up to this point in my life, I am more proud of this one accomplishment than anything else. I didn’t do the CD to promote myself but merely to pay homage to my father. Pilgrimage

That being said, I could & did have my own band for a short period of time back in the early 1990s while living in eastern Tennessee. I had planned to do my part to carry on the ole-timey traditional mountain sound. Due to circumstances going awry in my first marriage, I moved back to Florida in the mid-’90s. I remarried again some six years later and didn’t look back. I never seemed to regain the momentum or drive that I’d once had.

I will always wonder what I could have accomplished if I’d stayed in Tennessee & not moved back home. I found very good employment in the legal/clerical field that I had experience in and I don’t know if being the daughter of an icon is a help or a handicap. I love all things bluegrass. I do my best to try & help preserve, promote & contribute to helping this music we all love to stay alive & well. 

Baby Girl: A Tribute to My Father, Carter Stanley

Song Information: 1. Baby girl 2. Who will sing for me 3. The fields have turned brown 4. The memory of your smile 5. She’s more to be pitied 6. How mountain girls can love 7. Harbor of love 8. White dove 9. Train 45 10. The angels are singing in Heaven tonight 11. Two sides to a story 12. Jesus is precious 13. The Lonesome River 14. Dream of a miner’s child


Growing up, Jeanie’s mother, Mary, told her many stories about her father and his life on the road. Mary made sure Jeanie knew who her father was. Jeanie always loved old-time mountain music, but Mary never really wanted Jeanie to travel and be in the music business because she knew it was a hard life. Regardless, she instilled in Jeanie that Carter would not want his “Baby Girl” to forget him. Timing is everything and thankfully, Jeanie found herself at a time in her life where focusing on her father’s music and her own musical calling was right. The reason behind this heartfelt tribute album is to honor Carter Stanley and what her father’s music means to her. This is all she has to give to him–the music he loved so much. But to him, it would be the greatest gift his “Baby Girl” could give. 



Carter Stanley – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Carter Stanley – International Bluegrass Music Museum

Stanley Brothers Songs – Bluegrass Lyrics.com

Carter Stanley Remembered – Bluegrass Today

The Stanley Brothers – Spotify

Dr. Ralph Stanley’s 48th Annual Hills of Home Festival Memorial Day Weekend May 24 – May 26, 2018

Ralph II & “The Clinch Mountain Boys”

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