The Barack Obama endorsement ad here [direct mp3 link, and alternate link] featuring Dr. Ralph Stanley is currently running on radio stations in Southwest Virginia. That's about 900 kinds of wow, and I say this as someone born and raised in this part of the country, familiar with the social fabric. Blogger NMC at folo.us explains:
[Ralph] Stanley is the survivor of the Stanley Brothers, one of the few remaining figures of the first generation of bluegrass musicians. He's from the part of the mountains the Carter Family came from, and has had a recent career revival for his part in the Oh Brother Where Art Thou music.
They've embedded a classic Dr. Stanley television performance clip at folo.us, below is another — they're playing the Clinch Mountain Backstep, on an old television show with Pete Seeger. This is my favorite Stanley Brothers song ever, "Little Maggie," but I can't embed it. I know all the lyrics, and sometimes sing it to myself (and anyone in earshot unable to run screaming) on long car trips along old American roads. Whenever I hear this old-time music, I feel really proud to come from Virginia.