In Honor Of Carter Stanley

Gone from the music scene for nearly 50 years, his legacy has largely been forgotten with the passage of time. Until now.

In this dramatic theatrical production of Carter Stanley’s life, actor, musician, and writer Gary Reid becomes Carter Stanley. A storyteller, bluegrass veteran, and the foremost authority on the Stanley Brothers, Gary affords today’s bluegrass and old-time music fans a chance to visit and reminisce with Carter Stanley.

Gary, a Roanoke, Virginia-based bluegrass and old time music professional with over 40+ years of music experience, conceived the production in 2009.

After five years of development, A Life of Sorrow was officially launched in September of 2014. Since that time, the show has enjoyed over 100 performances in sixteen different states and three Canadian provinces.

Over his long career Gary has been a performer, record producer, researcher, historian, author, and concert promoter. Now he has turned his passion for music into writing and performing this must-see dramatic presentation.

Spend an enjoyable evening with him as he brings to life events from the turbulent times of the “smoothest singer ever to come out of the Clinch Mountains.”

| Recognition

Gary is proud to be a three-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) award for Best Liner Notes, and the IBMA’s 2015 choice for Print/Media Person of the Year.

Bluegrass Print/Media Person of the Year Gary Reid, author, The Music of the Stanley Brothers and The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies, 1991-2014

For his contributions to The Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies, he received the Association for Recorded Sound Collections 2015 honor for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research.

Bluegrass Hall of Fame Inductee Biographies, 1991-2014
by Fred Bartenstein, Neil V. Rosenberg, Gary Reid, Steve Spence, et al.
(International Bluegrass Music Museum)

Join Gary as he recounts events from Carter Stanley’s life:


  • Childhood days on the family farm
  • His respect for the old-time musicians who influenced him
  • The roots of his music and songwriting, his fiercely independent nature, and his struggles with alcohol
  • His adventures on the road with colorful entertainers
  • His jealousies and insecurities