A Life of Sorrow coming to APL


ARCANUM — The Arcanum Public Library will be presenting a performance of the one-man show called A Life of Sorrow, the Life and Times of Carter Stanley on Friday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. This will be a free adult event, but as space is limited, attendees will need a ticket. Call the library at 937-692-8484 or drop in for more information. The performance comes hot on the heels of the 75th anniversary of Stanley Music in America! The program uses a mix of storytelling and music to bring to life the sage of an Appalachian Mountain Music Treasure.

Carter Stanley was an expressive singer and songwriter. As the front man for the legendary Stanley Brothers duo, he spent the best 20 years of his life pounding the pavement to take his gift to anyone who would listen.

Raised in the coalfields of Appalachia during the Great Depression, the bright lights of a country stage raised the hairs and the back of the 10-year-old’s neck. A decade later, his musical expression of choice was a new phenomenon known to many as the high lonesome sound. It would come to be known as bluegrass music. He was tormented by a parent’s adolescent rejection and frustrated by lack of success, but still he held to his dream. He played the music, wrote the songs, and ultimately self-destructed. A Life of Sorrow is the story of one man’s musical journey.

The show is the creation of Roanoke, VA actor Gary Reid. A bluegrass enthusiast and historian for over 45 years, he is regarded as the foremost authority on the music of the Stanley Brothers. In 2009, Reid conceived the idea of putting together a one-man show about Carter Stanley. He has since appeared in more than 70 productions and events at regional community theatres as actor, producer, and stage manager. He has also appeared in several short films and commercials. He was the second-place finalist at the 2015 Sounds of the Mountains storytelling competition in Fincastle, VA.

Launched in 2014, A Life of Sorrow has enjoyed over 100 performances at theaters, festivals, libraries, and museums.

Reid is also a published author. His book, The Music of the Stanley Brothers is now available after many years of research. He also worked with Fred Bartenstein on The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies.

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