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Collection Number: 20010

Collection Title: Ola Belle Reed Collection, 1960-1979

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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 section for more information.


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Size About 170 items (3.5 linear feet)
Abstract The Ola Belle Reed Collection consists of audio recordings and other materials of American folk singer, songwriter, and banjo player, Ola Belle Reed. 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. Together they formed the New River Gang, along with Ola Belle Reed's brother, 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 in West Grove, Pa., and began broadcasting a weekly show from their store in Oxford, Pa. During the 1970s, Ola Belle Reed and family performed at many folk festivals, including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention. Audio materials in the collection include open reel recordings, 1969-1972, 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. Additional audio materials include open reel recordings of Reed speaking about her life and music, a taped performance by the North Carolina Ridge Runners, and compact discs of live performances, 1960-1976, by Ola Belle Reed and others, including Alex Campbell, Bud Reed, and David Reed. The collection also contains a copy of "High on the Mountain," Reed's unpublished autobiography; lyrics, handwritten sheet music, and lists of traditional songs and original compositions by Reed; clippings about Reed from various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, 1916-2002.
Language English.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
Use of audio materials may require production of listening copies.
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
Acquisitions information unknown for original accession. Additional material received from Todd Denton in April 2003 (Acc. 99476).
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, N.C., 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 Ola Belle Reed Collection consists of audio recordings and other materials of American folk singer, songwriter, and banjo player, Ola Belle Reed. Audio materials in the collection include open reel recordings, 1969-1972, 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. Additional audio materials include open reel recordings of Reed speaking about her life and music, a taped performance by the North Carolina Ridge Runners, and compact discs of live performances, 1960-1976, by Ola Belle Reed and others, including Alex Campbell, Bud Reed, and David Reed. The collection also contains 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.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. High on a Mountain, circa 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, circa 1977-1979." Folder 1

Folder 2

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

Folder 3

Correspondence #20010, Series: "1. High on a Mountain, circa 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, circa 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, circa 1970-1978." Folder 7

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

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Audio Recordings, 1960-1976.

32 items.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 5.1. Open Reel 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 (FT-20010/9678) contains performances of the North Carolina Ridge Runners.

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9657

Ola Belle Reed I and II. Side 1: 22 November 1969. Side 2: 6 December 1969 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9657

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9658

Ola Belle Reed IIa. Side 1: Traditional and original songs. Side 2: Original songs. 6 December 1969 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9658

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9659

Ola Belle Reed III. Traditional songs. 6 December 1969 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9659

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9660

Ola Belle Reed IV. Side 1: Ola Belle Reed, Ralph Reed, and Bud Reed performing music. Side 2: Taxes story. 28 December 1969 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9660

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9661

Ola Belle Reed V. Side 1: Ola Belle Reed performs traditional and original songs, 28 December 1969. Side 2: Ola Belle Reed sings original songs and is joined by Hazel Waltman for traditional songs, 1 February 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9661

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9662

Ola Belle Reed VI. Side 1: Singing with Hazel Waltman and talk. 1 February 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9662

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9663

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 and sings original and traditional songs. 21 February 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9663

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9664

Ola Belle Reed VIII. Side 1: Talk about Methodist-Baptist with songs performed by Reed and Linda Blackman. Side 2: Talk about pollution and a picking session. 21 February 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9664

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9665

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". 18 April 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9665

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9666

Ola Belle Reed X. Side 1: Talk, including space, Vietnam, tots, politicians, Pentecostals. Side 2: Songs performed by Herb Campbell, people from home, and Ralph Reed and talk about book, money, "Land of the Soul." 18 April 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9666

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9667

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. 18 April 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9667

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9668

Ola Belle Reed XII. Side 1: Talk, including neck pains, a policeman in Oxford and songs performed with David Reed and Linda. Side 2: All Linda, "For God's sake let me go." 16 May 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9668

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9669

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. 8 August 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9669

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9670

Ola Belle Reed. Side 1: Talk, including Nashville selling songs, rock festivals, Oxford. Side 2: Talk, including Oxford rock festival, Ralph, festival, drugs. 8 August 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9670

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9671

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. 3 October 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9671

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9672

Ola Belle Reed XV. Side 1: Older records, programming, Roy Acuff, drugs. Side 2: Songs performed by Reed and Linda and talk, including Primitive Baptists, Ola's writing. date unknown #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9672

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9673

Ola Belle Reed. 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. 11 November 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9673

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9674

Ola Belle Reed. Side 1: Talk, including job, Nashville, and David. Side 2: David at school and food stamps. 11 November 1970 and 22 November 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9674

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9675

Ola Belle Reed. 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. 30 December 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9675

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9676

Ola Belle Reed. Side 1: Reed performs original and traditional songs. Side 2: More songs and Bud and David Reed play banjo pieces. 30 December 1970 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9676

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9677

Ola Belle Reed. 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. 1972 #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9677

1/4" Open Reel Audio

SFC Audio Open Reel FT-20010/9678

North Carolina Ridge Runners. date unknown #20010, Subseries: "5.1. Open Reel Recordings, 1969-1972." FT-20010/9678

1/4" Open Reel Audio

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976.

10 items.

Arrangement: Chronological.

Acquisitions information: Received as Addition of April 2003 (Acc. 99476).

CD-Rs of live performances by Ola Belle Reed and others, including Alex Campbell, the New River Gang, Bud Reed, and and David Reed. Recording locations include Campbell's Corner in Oxford, Pa., Sunset Park in West Grove, Pa., the Brandywine Mountain Music Convention in Concordville, Pa., and the Carolina Hotel in Asheville, N.C.

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/1

Alex Campbell and Ola Belle Reed. WCOJ Live from Campbell's Corner part 1. Oxford, Pa., 1960 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/1

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/2

Alex Campbell and Ola Belle Reed. WCOJ Live from Campbell's Corner part 2. Oxford, Pa., 1960 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/2

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/3

Alex Campbell, Ola Belle Reed, and the New River Gang. Sunset Park, West Grove, Pa., 22 July 1962 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/3

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/4

Alex Campbell, Ola Belle Reed, and the New River Gang. Sunset Park, West Grove, Pa., 4 August 1962; Roger Sprung and Carl Leming. Carolina Hotel, Asheville, N.C., 2 September 1962; Roger Spring: Sunset Park,West Grove, Pa., 9 September 1962 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/4

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/5

Alex Campbell, Ola Belle Reed, and the New River Gang. Sunset Park, West Grove, Pa., 5 May 1963 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/5

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/6

Ola Belle, Bud, and David Reed. Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, Concordville, Pa., 27 July 1974 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/6

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/7

Banjo Workshop. Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, Concordville, Pa., 27 July 1974 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/7

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/8

Ola Belle Reed and family. Brandy Wine Mountain Music Convention, Concordville, Pa., 26 July 1975 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/8

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/9

Ola Belle, Bud, and David Reed. Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, Concordville, Pa., 31 July 1976 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/9

Compact Disc (CD)

Music Compact Disc CD-20010/10

Ola Belle, Bud, and David Reed. Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, Concordville, Pa., 1 August 1976 #20010, Subseries: "5.2. Compact Discs, 1960-1976." CD-20010/10

Compact Disc (CD)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Audiotapes (FT-20010/9657-9678)

Compact Discs (CD-20010/1-10)

Photographs (P-4405-4407).

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Processing Information

Processed by: Aaron Smithers, November 2002

Encoded by: Aaron Smithers, November 2002

Updated by: Anne Wells, October 2016

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