The Ola Belle Reed cds have been won! All three of the discs I was giving away are going to a reader named Kilby from North Carolina. Why all three to one person, you may ask? Very simple: he was the only one who sent me an email and entered the contest. But his story, reprinted below, was very good and I think you’ll agree that he fully deserves this music.
Ola Belle was a cousin on my father’s side of the family, though she left the Grayson County,VA/Ashe County/NC area at an early age. Her family was extremely liberal for the times and in her father’s will, it was specified that all his families had to take in any “wanderers” in the area and feed and house them. As a result, ___ pounds of flour,etc had to be kept in the house at all times. I’ve heard a lot of great stories about her family and how unusual and great they were, though they are relatives:) Anyhow, I used to, and need to get back to, visiting an older fellow who played fiddle for her for many years named Johnny Miller. He is on her finest (to my ears) LP, one that has never been reissued on Rounder, containing High on the Mountain. He told me about a set of 78s they cut for the Security label in Washington,DC in the late 40s. Ola Belle on vocals/banjo, Johnny on steel, his cousin Slick on fiddle, and Alec Campbell on guitar/vocals. I was able to hunt down a friend with copies who put them on CD. Definitely her earliest commercial recordings, which I’d be glad to upload and share with you if you’d like. Anyhow, that’s my connection and a little info about her.