Rising Sun Melodies – Ola Belle Reed

The name Ola Belle Reed may not be terribly familiar to younger fans of bluegrass and old time music – unless they are inclined to peruse liner notes and songwriter credits on their favorite recordings. Many of her songs have been covered by popular modern artists – Del McCoury (I’ve Endured, High On A Mountain), Tim O’Brien (I’ve Endured), Crooked Still (Undone In Sorrow) – and her influence as a purveyor of an authentic Appalachian folk tradition outlasts her time among us.

Now, 8 years after her death, Smithsonian Folkways has put together a CD to capture the spirit of her performances throughout her life. Included on Rising Sun Melodies will be 11 remastered tracks from her previous Folkways releases, plus 8 new tracks recorded live at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 1972 and ’76.

The track listing shows a number of her own songs, and a batch of old time favorites.

  • I’ve Endured
  • Ola Belle’s Blues
  • Ragtime of Life
  • Bonaparte’s Retreat
  • Foggy Mountain Top
  • Fortunes
  • High on the Mountain
  • Sweet Evalina
  • Sing Me a Song
  • Tear Down the Fences
  • My Epitaph
  • Look Down That Lonesome Road
  • Undone in Sorrow
  • I Believe in the Old Time Way
  • Nine Pound Hammer
  • I am the Man, Thomas
  • I’ve Endured
  • Ranger’s Command
  • I Saw the Light

Rising Sun Melodies is due on August 3 from Smithsonian Folkways.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.