Wayne Ratley co-founded the bluegrass gospel band Carolina Sonshine with Dennis Cash in 1998.
Ratley got his start in bluegrass as an assistant sound engineer at a festival in the early 1980s. He started on guitar until the South River Boys asked him to join as bassist. “When I went to play the first show with them,” he told Michael Brantley, “I had three or four hours experience. The bass is what I really enjoy playing now.”
He and Cash met in Fayetteville at local bluegrass jams and were soon joined in completing the first incarnation of Carolina Sonshine by lead singer Danny Stanley on guitar and David Smith on banjo and baritone vocals.