Ralph Stanley: His 10 Greatest Performances

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

"I Want to Preach the Gospel"

Stanley was expert at murder ballads and songs about death, but he also excelled at praising God. His gospel catalog is vast, including original fare and traditionals alike. In "I Want to Preach the Gospel," he vows to be a steward of Jesus, trusting in Christianity's shepherd to watch over him and his fellow sheep. While Stanley sings the chorus with gusto, he also solemnly speaks of his commitment to his faith. Regardless of his listeners' own beliefs — or lack thereof — there's no denying his message here transfixes.

Back to Top