The Rank Stranger
is a song by the Stanley Brothers. Though strongly associated with the legendary Stanleys, 'Rank Stranger' was not authored by them. Instead, it was the work of prolific gospel songwriter Albert E. Brumley, Sr., the composer of such other seminal gospel classics as 'Turn Your Radio On' and 'I’ll Fly Away
.' Composed in 1942, 'Stranger' would not be popularized until the Stanley Brothers committed it to vinyl at the somewhat late date of 1960. Though it is often reported that the brothers recorded the tune in Nashville, various sources indicate otherwise, that it was actually tracked at a remote
facility in Jacksonville, Florida, near the end of May or early part of June of 1960. (The Stanleys were, at the time, headlining a live, weekly radio show, the Suwannee River Jamboree, from Live Oak, Florida.) The recording was released later that year on their 'Sacred Songs from the Hill' album over the Starday label.