Fay McGinnis Passes

Fay McGinnis, the president of the Stanley Brothers’ Fan Club for a number of years, passed away on Friday, March 17, 2017. She was 89 years old and lived in the Wyandotte suburb of Detroit, Michigan.

Fay M. McGinnis was born on November 25, 1927, and served as the manager of her husband’s band, Roy McGinnis and the Sunnysiders. Also, she was a tireless promoter and preserver of bluegrass and old-time music across the Michigan area.

McGinnis, who favored big band music while she was in high school, was for a while running a regularly scheduled cable television program called Mountain Echoes. Her studio was a mandatory meeting point for visiting bluegrass musicians.   

Her most active period as head of the Stanley Brothers’ Fan Club and, subsequently, the Ralph Stanley’ Fan Club was from 1965 to 1975.

At a time when means of communication were very limited, Fay McGinnis worked diligently in her basement office, which she actually hated, but in which she often toiled from evening, “after my children went to bed” to daylight. In so doing, she expanded interest in the Stanley Brothers with their fan club so much so that, as she wrote in the liner notes to the brothers’ LP, The Legendary Stanley Brothers (Rebel SLP 1487), it “has members from the four corners of the earth and staff members who actively promoted the group located in 15 states of the United States and the following countries, Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Germany, Sweden and England.”

She never forgot what Carter Stanley told her, “Write anything that you want [in the fan club newsletter] as long as it’s the truth”.

R.I.P., Fay McGinnis.

Posted on March 22, 2017 by Richard Thompson