Smithsonian Announces ‘Rising Sun Melodies’

by | 26 Jun, 2010

Rising Sun Melodies by Ola Belle Reed.

Smithsonian Folkways has advised us of an upcoming 3rd August, release of Rising Sun Melodies, featuring the music of influential bluegrass singer/songwriter, Ola Belle Reed. One of the pioneer female musicians in bluegrass, Ola Belle had a big voice and an even bigger heart, singing her story through the music of the Appalachians.

The rich tradition of music in the Appalachian Mountain region of the USA includes the sounds of the many immigrants who settled there, including string band tunes from black and white traditions, spirituals and hymns taught by the local singing schools, parlor ballads, and minstrel tunes.

The voice and spirit of Ola Belle Reed has made a lasting impression on the world of bluegrass and of Appalachian music. Her music has been covered by some of the biggest names in country and bluegrass music, such as Del McCoury, Tim O’Brien, and Marty Stuart, and up-and-coming bands such as Crooked Still and Ollabelle, who are named for Mrs. Reed. Decades after these recordings, and eight years after her passing, Ola Belle’s original songs and voice still ring true and continue to influence a new generation of musicians.

Named after Ola Belle’s childhood home, Rising Sun Melodies features remastered recordings of eleven of her influential Folkways recordings, including her beloved songs, High on a Mountain, I’ve Endured, and My Epitaph, as well as eight previously unreleased live recordings of Ola Belle leading a band of family and friends at the Festival of American Folklife in 1972 and 1976 – now known as the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.