Sunday, March 15, 2015

New Reedy Media & Map

Our recent "Reedy References" post included a substantial discussion of Frances Reedys' influential vocals on the commercial recording of "Oh Death" by "John Reedy." Afterward, Timi's Uncle Tim asked if we could post his mother's version so that he could share it with family and friends. However, we are still researching how copyright works, how we can ensure fair use, and how music rights are inherited.

Of all the digitized material that we have posted or found online, the Reedys' version of "Oh Death" was an important but missing piece of Frances and John's audio history. We realized that we actually had a more "home-made" version of the commercial recording that we could share as a piece of regional radio history as well.

We previously mentioned an enormous archive of reel-to-reel recordings that Frances and John Reedy made during the 1960s and 1970s. Among them was a home recording of a radio "infomercial" advertising the release of the 1961 Starday Hall of Fame Series Gospel Songs By All Star Artists (SEP 168), which was broadcast on WCKY in Cincinnati, Ohio. The host was Wayne Rainey of the Rainey Family, and the extended radio promotion included several cuts from the EP, including John and Frances Reedy's recording of "Oh Death. 

So were able to upload this slightly cleaned up and edited version of the radio broadcast, which basically trims down the introduction, removes some background noise, and increases the volume. It is still a little crackly, but it is another amazing example of the Reedy's self-documentation of their music's circulation.

We also posted this audio file to the Multi-Media Library. When I sent this to Uncle Tim, he responded, "I think this was one of the best ones they ever recorded. Thanks ... !!" We're so glad that this radio recording can help complete the audio "picture" of this important song in the Reedy repertoire.

Another cool new documentary feature is the Reedy Migration, Music, & Memory Map, which is an interactive map that illustrates John and Frances Reedy's residential migration from Eastern Kentucky to Ohio and back again; their diverse commercial recording career; their documentation of their music and memories; and their ongoing influence and recognition as Appalachian songwriters and musicians.  

The new blog page for the map includes instructions for using the map and accessing the information about different items. For example, the map includes the Reedys' commercial discography during their shared lifetimes that includes full recording information and, in some cases, images of the record labels. We have also begun mapping their radio appearances and plan to map additional multi-media material that we have already posted. We plan to update the map to include additional categories and media artifacts, so we welcome any ideas for Reedy data that we could include on the map.

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