Ralph Stanley: His 10 Greatest Performances

From his signature "O Death" to a surprise Velvet Underground cover

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"Pretty Polly" (With Patty Loveless)

Never has a murder ballad sounded so enticing. With bluegrass chanteuse Patty Loveless at his side, Ralph Stanley tells the tale of poor pretty Polly, who after rebuffing a suitor pays the ultimate price. For all his passion as a singer, Stanley betrays no emotion, singing stone-faced as he details the heinous act. The bluegrass patriarch is merely relaying a story — and it's impossible to not pay rapt attention. 

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