Ola Belle Reed Brought Bluegrass to Baltimore
Ola Belle Campbell was just a teenager in 1934 when her family moved from Ashe County, NC, to Maryland, but she was already a skilled mountain banjo player and singer. At her first radio gig in 1939, Ola Belle sang the “St. Louis Blues.” Her voice overpowered the broadcasting equipment and knocked the station off the air. In 1949 she became Ola Belle Reed when she married country musician Bud Reed. Their influence is still felt in the thriving bluegrass scene around Baltimore.
The “Down the Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina” podcast highlights bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina. Hosted by Laura Boosinger and produced by Kim Clark of WNCW-FM, the podcast is a joint effort of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the North Carolina Arts Council, and WNCW-FM.