How I Obtained Copies of the Henry Reed Library of Congress Tapes

In July 1994, I posted a message to the Usenet newsgroup alt.appalachian asking if anyone was familiar with my grandfather's fiddle playing and/or might know where I could find any recordings of him playing. I received an e-mail note from Bill Blevins with some suggestions. Bill B. was living in Blacksburg, VA, which is the home of Va. Tech (where I got my BSEE and MSEE during 1982-90). However, I had never met Bill while in Blacksburg, but it turned out that we had several mutual friends (which is not real surprising since Blacksburg is not that big of a town).

In February 1995, Bill B. sent me a note saying that there were discussions about about my grandfather on the newsgroup In June 1995, Bill B. sent me another e-mail note saying that a friend of his had some tapes of my grandfather and that I should contact this person. person. That person was Bill Richardson, who was also living in Blacksburg. I sent an e-mail note to Bill R. asking if he would send me a copy of the three tape set. He graciuosly agreed and asked if the Reed family would have any objections if he distributed copies to other people. I checked with my Dad and several uncles & they agreed that they had no objections - in fact they encouraged this!

Bill R. then offered on to set up a tape tree to distribute copies of the three tape set. Bill R. specified the following three conditions under which the tapes could be distributed (and for which he had already gotten my approval):

    1. You cannot charge money for the tapes other than to cover the cost of reproducing the tapes and shipping them

    2. You cannot use high-speed dubbing to replicate the tapes

    3. You must agree to distrubute these tapes as freely as you received them

I made a copy of the tape set and took it to my father the next time I visited (my parents live in Rich Creek, VA, which is a couple of miles from Glen Lyn). My visit coincided with the Reed family reunion (which is held in Rich Creek). Needless to say, these tapes were a bit popular at the reunion and I returned home to Herndon (Northern Va.) with the task of making copies for numerous people. I've probably made more than 20 copies of the three tape set and anticipate making even more in the future.

My family and I are very grateful to Bill R. for providing us with a copy of the tapes as well as asking our permission before widely distributing other copies.

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Last updated 02/03/01