Ola Belle Reed

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Ola Belle Campbell Reed (August 18, 1916[1] – August 16, 2002) was an American folk singer, songwriter and banjo player. Born in Lansing, North Carolina, Reed's songs often speak of Appalachian life and traditions. Her best-known songs have been recorded by mainstream bluegrass and country artists. High on a Mountain, has been recorded by Del McCoury, Tim O'Brien, and Marty Stuart.[2][3] I've Endured, has been recorded by Del McCoury as well as Tim O'Brien. The annual Ola Belle Reed Music Festival in Lansing, NC celebrates her life and music.[2]

In 1986, Reed was awarded an NEA National Heritage Fellowship.[4]

In 2010, Smithsonian Folkways released Rising Sun Melodies, a collection of 11 songs that appeared on her previous Folkways recordings, plus eight previously unreleased tracks that were recorded at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in the 1970s. Among the musicians accompanying her on the album were her brother Alex Campbell, her husband Bud Reed, her son Dave Reed, and the husband and wife team of John Coffey and Betsy Rutherford.[5]

In January 2011, Ola Belle Reed's Rising Sun Melodies won The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards in the Reissue category.[6]

Her song "High on a Mountain" was sung by the character "Mags Bennett" on the TV series "Justified".[7]


  1. ^ Social Security Death Index
  2. ^ a b "Ola Belle Reed Music Festival". Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  3. ^ "The Mountain Times Online". Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  4. ^ "1986 NEA National Heritage Fellowships". Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  5. ^ Place, Jeff (2010). Liner notes for Rising Sun Melodies, album by Ola Belle Reed. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings No. 40202.
  6. ^ http://www.independentmusicawards.com/ima/artist/ola-belle-reed
  7. ^ High On A Mountain Top by Margo Martindale. Vimeo.