Today in History: Fiddler Henry Reed

Portrait of Henry Reed

Today in History–April 28–the Library of Congress features musician Henry Reed, born on this date in 1884 in West Virginia. Reed was a master fiddler as well as banjo and harmonica player who learned most of the tunes he played by ear and had hundreds of songs committed to memory. He never played professionally but became well known after Duke University graduate students Karen and Alan Jabbour began to tape his fiddling. Find out more about this master musician by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to read, see, and hear more of Henry Reed.

Fiddler Henry Reed of Virginia from America’s Library

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection

Henry Reed historical newspaper coverage

Alan Jabbour’s notes about visits to Henry Reed, including recording logs and information from unrecorded interviews

Alan Jabbour talks about Henry Reed’s fiddling and bowing technique streaming video

Henry Reed: His Life, Influence, and Art