07 February 2020

Pete Stanley, 1937-2020

The BIB has just learned with regret of the death of Pete Stanley (left), devotee of the 5-string banjo and British (and European) bluegrass pioneer, at the beginning of this year. His funeral was held in Exeter, Devon, on Wednesday 22 January. His daughter Saro has announced on the Mudcat online forum that

there is also a memorial concert/ tribute planned later at Cecil Sharp House London for 16 May 2020. Details to follow. We also are planning to show a collection of photos and memorabilia throughout Pete's long career from the late 50s onwards to view at the concert venue.

In 2013 Pete Stanley was one of the first to receive a European Bluegrass Pioneer Award from the European Bluegrass Music Association - thanks largely to information supplied by Rick Townend, who himself recently received the Jan Jerrold Award from the British Bluegrass Music Association. A biographical article on Pete Stanley by Richard Thompson is in preparation, with which the BIB will not attempt to compete.

Longtime attenders at festivals in Athy, Co. Kildare, will recall Pete playing there around the turn of this century with Brian Golbey, one of his longtime musical partners. Niall Toner also sends the memory that when he and his late wife Moira were living in London in the early 1960s, he learned from Pete how to play banjo in old-time two-finger style, 'which', Niall writes, 'I still play today, in the privacy of my mountain home'.

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