Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line
Hardcover, clothbound, 256-page book + 2 CDs
Book + 2 CDs
Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line is the first in-depth look at the life of Ola Belle Reed, a groundbreaking artist and one of the all-time greatest performers of authentic, old-time music. Born to a musical family in the mountains of Ashe County, North Carolina, in 1913, Reed became a prolific songwriter and performer, known for her unique style of banjo playing and singing. Reed inspired many musicians throughout her life, eventually becoming one of the leading lights of the folk music revival and winning the prestigious National Heritage Fellowship; in 2015, 13 years after her death in 2002, her influence continues to reverberate.
In January of 1966, folklore graduate student Henry Glassie made the first professional solo recordings of Ola Belle Reed, travelling from Philadelphia to the town of Oxford, Pennsylvania to see Reed, Alex Campbell, and the New River Boys and Girls play their exciting brand of Southern mountain music live, on the air, in the back of the Campbell's Corner general store. Over the next two years, Glassie - who went on to become one of the United States' most celebrated folkorists, a distinguished professor, and a world-renowned scholar - recorded Reed's extensive repertoire, while also chronicling the remarkable story of the migration of communities from the Blue Ridge Mountains toward the Mason-Dixon Line before WWII.
In 2009, Maryland state folklorist Clifford Murphy struck out to discover whether this rich musical tradition still existed in the small Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania towns where it once flourished. Murphy, amazed by what he encountered, began making audio recordings to document the descendants of Ola Belle Reed's musical legacy. This first-ever release of Reed's 1960s recordings, which were deposited in Indiana University Bloomington's Archives of Traditional Music, is counter-balanced by a disc of Murphy's recordings of Reed's descendants and those within her Appalachian community whom she inspired.
This deluxe edition, presented as a 256-page hardcover book with two CDs of remastered recordings, highlights Reed's deep repertoire - folk ballads, minstrel songs, country standards, and originals - and traces the impact that her music made and is still making today. This project is a co-production between Dust-to-Digital, Maryland State Arts Council, and Indiana University. Includes performances by Ola Belle Reed, Dave Reed, Alex Campbell, Hugh Campbell, Zane Campbell, Burton DeBusk, the DeBusk-Weaver Family, Burl Kilby, T.J. Lundy, John Miller, Danny Paisley, and Ryan Paisley.
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