About this Collection

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection presents traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67, when Reed was over eighty years old, the tunes represent the music and evoke the history and spirit of Virginia's Appalachian frontier. Many of the tunes have passed back into circulation during the fiddling revival of the later twentieth century. Documentation includes184 sound recordings, 19 pages of fieldnotes, and 69 musical transcriptions (with descriptive notes on tune histories and musical features) from two collections in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: Alan Jabbour duplication project part 1 (AFC 1967/007) and Alan Jabbour duplication project, part 2 (AFC 1969/008).

Alan Jabbour recorded Henry Reed as part of a series of recordings in the Upper South, 1965-68. Jabbour was a graduate student at Duke University at the time, and used his own equipment, supplies, finances, and time to record Henry Reed and other fiddlers on 7-inch reels. The original reels remain the property of Alan Jabbour, but in 1967 and again in 1969, he brought the tapes to the Library of Congress for duplication in the Library of Congress Recording Laboratory where the copies became part of Archive of Folk Song's collections (now American Folklife Center's archive). These tapes form a part of the two Alan Jabbour duplication project collections. Both collections are available to researchers in the Folklife Reading Room.

In addition to Henry Reed, other performers recorded in the Alan Jabbour duplication project collections include Joseph Y. Aiken, Romie Aiken, D. M. Andrews, Joe W. Anglin, Andrew Bennett, Lester Brooks, Maurice Carden, Kemp Chambers, Tinsey Clapp, Harlan Coble, Sam Connor, William Alonzo ("Lonnie") Corsbie, Virgil Craven, Harry Dixon (Dickerson), Ed Hall, Walter "Peg" Hatcher, Tommy Jarrell, Stella and Taylor Kimble, Albert Eli ("Uncle Abner") King, John Lewis, Vaughan Marley, Ross Miller, Fred Phillips, Kilby Reeves, Earl Shatterly, Ernest Stanley, Edsel Terry, Lee Triplett, Winston Ward, "Doc" Frank White, and Oscar and Eugene Wright.

Photographs in this presentation were taken during additional field work in 1999 and are found in the following collection: Fiddle tunes of the old frontier: the Henry Reed collection online presentation (AFC 1999/016). The photographs were taken by Karen Singer Jabbour, Carl Fleischhauer, and Katherine (Kit) B. Olson, and use of these photographs requires the permission of the photographers.