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Collection Number: 20010

Collection Title: Ola Belle Reed Collection, 1969-1979

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


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Size About 160 items (3.5 linear feet)
Abstract Musician Ola Belle Reed was born in Grassy Creek, N.C. As a teenager, she performed with an early version of the North Carolina Ridge Runners. In 1949, she married Bud Reed. They formed the New River Gang, with Alex Campbell, and operated New River Ranch, a popular country music park near Rising Sun, Md. In the early 1960s, they moved to Sunset Park, Md., and broadcast a weekly show from their store in Oxford, Pa. During the 1970s, Ola Belle Reed and family performed at many folk festivals. The collection consists of audio recordings and other materials of Ola Belle Reed. Included are recordings of traditional and original songs sung by Reed; family members, Bud Reed, David Reed, Ralph Reed, Herb Campbell, and Alex Campbell; and friends and neighbors, including Hazel Waltman. There are also tapes of Reed speaking about her life and music; taped performances by the North Carolina Ridge Runners; a copy of "High on the Mountain," Reed's unpublished autobiography; lyrics, handwritten sheet music, and lists of traditional songs and original compositions by Reed; clippings about Reed from various publications; a program from the Foothills Festival 1977; a promotional flier from Sunset Ranch; and three photographs. Correspondents include Josh Dunson, Pete Seeger, and John McGuigan.
Creator Reed, Ola Belle.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Reed, Ola Belle Collection #20010, Southern Folklife Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Unknown.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Ola Belle Reed was born in 1915 at Grassy Creek in Ashe County, located in the New River Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, to Arthur Harrison Campbell and Ella Mae Osborne. One of thirteen children, she came from a musical family and learned to play both guitar and clawhammer banjo at as a young child. Suffering the effects of the Depression, her father moved the family out of the Blue Ridge and settled near Rising Sun, Md., just south of the Mason-Dixon Line on the Maryland-Pennsylvania border. While still a teenager, Reed began performing with her brother Alex Campbell and with an early version of the North Carolina Ridge Runners. Performing old time and country music around their home in Maryland and Pennsylvania, Reed and her brother paired up again after he returned from World War II. For many years, they could be heard live and in syndication over much of the country on a variety of stations, including WWVA in Wheeling, W.Va. During the early 1960s their weekly show, "Campbell's Corner," broadcast live from their country store in Oxford, Pa., of the same name, was heard over much of the eastern United States.

In 1949, Ola Belle married Bud Reed, himself a noted country musician, and with Alex they formed the New River Gang. Together they opened and operated New River Ranch, a popular country music park near Rising Sun. In the early 1960s, they closed New River and moved their operation north on US Route 1 to Sunset Park near Jennersville, Pa., where they performed regularly for the next 26 years. During the 1970s, the Reed family, now including sons David Reed and Ralph Reed, found enthusiastic audiences at many folk festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention. In 1986, Ola Belle Reed was recognized for her contributions to American folk music and culture when she was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship. A prolific songwriter, her best-known songs are "I've Endured," "The Springtime of Life," and especially "High on a Mountain." Del McCoury, a regular performer at Sunset Park, made "High on a Mountain" a bluegrass standard. Many others recorded the tune, including Nashville musician Marty Stuart.

In the late 1980s, Reed suffered a severe stroke that abruptly ended her career as a performer and songwriter. Ola Belle Reed died on August 16, 2002 in Rising Sun.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists of audio recordings and other materials of musician  Ola Belle Reed. Included are recordings of traditional and original songs by Reed; family members, Bud Reed, David Reed, Ralph Reed, Herb Campbell, and Alex Campbell; and friends and neighbors, including Hazel Waltman. There are also tapes of Reed speaking about her life and music; taped performances by the North Carolina Ridge Runners; a copy of "High on the Mountain," Reed's unpublished autobiography; lyrics, handwritten sheet music, and lists of traditional songs and original compositions by Reed; clippings about Reed from various publications; a program from the Foothills Festival 1977; a promotional flier from Sunset Ranch; and three photographs. Correspondents include Josh Dunson, Pete Seeger, and John McGuigan of the University of Pennsylvania.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. High on a Mountain, ca. 1977-1979.

About 25 items.

Documents related to "High on the Mountain," the unpublished autobiography of Ola Belle Reed, written with the assistance of David Reed and Josh Dunson. Correspondents include Josh Dunson, Pete Seeger, John McGuigan of the University of Pennsylvania, and Max Mandel of Midstream Music.

Folder 1

Manuscript #20010, Series: "1. High on a Mountain, ca. 1977-1979." Folder 1

Folder 2

Research #20010, Series: "1. High on a Mountain, ca. 1977-1979." Folder 2

Folder 3

Correspondence #20010, Series: "1. High on a Mountain, ca. 1977-1979." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Songs, undated.

About 90 items.

Typed song lyrics, handwritten sheet music, and song lists referring to audio tapes not included in the collection. Songs are original compositions by Ola Belle Reed as well as traditional songs that seem to have been known and performed by Reed.

Folder 4

Lyrics #20010, Series: "2. Songs, undated." Folder 4

Folder 5

Sheet music #20010, Series: "2. Songs, undated." Folder 5

Folder 6

Song lists #20010, Series: "2. Songs, undated." Folder 6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Clippings and Publicity, ca. 1970-1978.

18 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Articles about Ola Belle Reed from various newspapers, including a Sing Out! article by Josh Dunson and a piece by Nick Spitzer. Also included are a program from the Foothills Festival 1977 in Tennessee and a promotional flier from Sunset Park.

Folder 7

Clippings and publicity #20010, Series: "3. Clippings and Publicity, ca. 1970-1978." Folder 7

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Photosgraphs, undated.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972.

22 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Open reel audio tapes that seem to be recordings made by Ola Belle Reed at home in Maryland. Tapes include traditional, popular, and original songs performed by Reed; family members, Bud Reed, Ralph Reed, Herb Campbell, and David Reed; and friends and neighbors, including Hazel Waltman. Tapes also include Reed speaking about her life and her feelings about music, family, performing, school, Nashville, welfare, politicians, religion, children, taxes, rock, festivals, Roy Acuff, Bill Monroe, New River Ranch, and other topics. The final tape contains performances of the North Carolina Ridge Runners.

FT-9657: Ola Belle Reed I and II. Side 1: 11/22/69. Side 2: 12/06/69. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9658: 12/06/69. Ola Belle Reed IIa. Side 1: Traditional and original songs. Side 2: Original songs. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9659: 12/06/69. Ola Belle Reed III. Traditional songs. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9660: 12/28/69. Ola Belle Reed IV. Side 1: Ola Belle Reed, Ralph Reed, and Bud Reed performing music. Side 2: Taxes story. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9661: 12/28/69 and 02/01/70. Ola Belle Reed V. Side 1: 12/28/69 Ola Belle Reed performs traditional and original songs. Side 2: 02/01/70 Ola Belle Reed sings original songs and is joined by Hazel Waltman for traditional songs. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9662: 02/01/70. Ola Belle Reed VI. Side 1: Singing with Hazel Waltman and talk. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9663: 02/21/70. Ola Belle Reed VII. Side 1: Talk about Ralph, party-fraternity house, poems, taxes, sex (education) and love. Side 2: Talk about Ralph, sex, welfare and family. She sings original and traditional songs. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9664: 02/21/70. Ola Belle Reed VIII. Side 1: Talk about Methodist-Baptist. Songs performed by Reed and Linda Blackman. Side 2: Talk about pollution and a picking session. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9665: 04/18/70. Ola Belle Reed IX. Side 1: Talk, including Nashville, book, and Bud-memories. Side 2: Reed performs songs solo and with Bud Reed, including "High on a Mountain". #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9666: 04/18/70. Ola Belle Reed X. Side 1: Talk, including space, Vietnam, tots, politicians, Pentecostals. Side 2: Songs performed by Herb Campbell, people from home, Ralph Reed. Talk about book, money, "Land of the Soul". #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9667: 04/18/70. Ola Belle Reed XI. Side 1: Talk, including letter from Mike in Aberdeen, painting, Washington (May 1970), Nashville music publishing. Side 2: Talk, including change, business, hospital, communism, ghetto. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9668: 05/16/70. Ola Belle Reed XII. Side 1: Talk, including neck pains, a policeman in Oxford. Songs performed with David Reed and Linda. Side 2: All Linda, "For God's sake let me go." #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9669: 08/08/70. Ola Belle Reed XIII. Side 1: Talk, including Primitive Baptists, raising a child, hemp sacks of clothes, fan club. Side 2: Talk, including credit cards, cars, children, black snakes, and old cherry and chestnut trees. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9670: 08/08/70. Side 1: Talk, including Nashville selling songs, rock festivals, Oxford. Side 2: Talk, including Oxford rock festival, Ralph, festival, drugs. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9671: 10/03/70. Ola Belle Reed XIV. Side 1: Talk, including rock festivals, Brother Ed's Hippie Thing, Victor and girl, new song, quilts, church, grandad, Israel-Jewish people. Side 2: Methodists, revival meeting, outsiders in the mountains, progress's price, New River, Dr. Mayer, city life, and record. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9672: undated. Ola Belle Reed XV. Side 1: Older records, programming, Roy Acuff, drugs. Side 2: Songs performed by Reed and Linda. Talk, including Primitive Baptists, Ola's writing. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9673: 11/11/70. Side 1: Talk, including school, hillbilly, Dave's school, girls, and meeting Bud. Reed performs traditional songs. Side 2: Reed sings and reads lyrics to songs talks about New River Ranch and Bill Monroe. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9674: 11/11/70 and 11/22/70. Side 1: Talk, including job, Nashville, and David. Side 2: David at school and food stamps. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9675: 12/30/70. Side 1: Talk, including tongue twisters, woman writer, mountains, granny, and photographs. Reed performs songs by Fanny Blackburn. Side 2: Talk about taxes, helping neighbor. Reed performs traditional, original, and popular country songs. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9676: 12/30/70. Side 1: Reed performs original and traditional songs. Side 2: More songs and Bud and David Reed play banjo pieces. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9677: 1972. Side 1: Songs performed by Ola Belle Reed, David Reed, Bud Reed, and Alan Reed. Side 2: More songs by Ola, David, Bud. and Alan; some just by David and Bud. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

FT-9678: undated. North Carolina Ridge Runners. #20010, Series: "5. Audio Recordings, 1969-1972." Folder 8

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include audio tapes (FT-9657 to FT-9678) and photographs (P-4405 to P-4407).

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