REID, GARY B. (1956-)

Gary Reid is not a native or a resident of southwestern Ohio, but he has done much to preserve the music of the area and of the artists who were influential in the area. He worked for County Records in various capacities before forming his own Copper Creek record label in 1978. Copper Creek was originally formed to issue recordings by the then-unknown Johnson Mountain Boys, of which Gary was an early member. Gary then got into historic preservation by issuing an extensive series of concert recordings of the Stanley Brothers, radio shows of the Blue Sky Boys, and others. When Bear Family Records couldn’t gain the cooperation of the owner of the King Records masters, it was thought that the historic bluegrass records made on King and Starday might never be reissued in comprehensive sets. However, Gary was able to work with owner Moe Lytle and began producing and annotating complete artist sets which were issued on King and related labels. All of the Stanley Brothers’ King and Starday recordings were reissued on two box sets; Don Reno, Red Smiley, and Bill Harrell recordings were reissued on three box sets. A various-artist box set of King and Starday bluegrass was also issued. Smaller sets of complete King and/or Starday recordings were issued on Ralph Stanley, Jim and Jesse, Browns Ferry Four, Buzz Busby, Jim Eanes, and Wade Mainer, all with discographies, liner notes, and production by Gary Reid. He also did the discographies and notes on the Bear Family sets of the Stanley Brothers’ Mercury and Columbia recordings, as well as the Revenant reissue of Carter and Ralph’s Rich-R-Tone recordings. He did the notes on Bear Family’s reissue of Jim Eanes’s complete Decca recordings. In 1994, 1999, and 2008, he received the IBMA Award for Best Liner Notes, and in 2015 he was selected as IBMA’s Print Media Person of the Year. For twenty years, Copper Creek issued bluegrass calendars annually, with one year devoted completely to King and Starday artists. He became the recognized expert on the Stanley Brothers, and after many years of research and work he authored The Music of the Stanley Brothers, which was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2015. Also in 2015, he began presenting a one-man theatrical performance entitled A Life of Sorrow-the Life and Times of Carter Stanley. On September 13, 2015, he did his show at the OTR Pub in Cincinnati and presented a discussion of his book at the Cincinnati Public Library. He also was co-author with Fred Bartenstein of the book The Bluegrass Hall of Fame, which was published in 2014 by the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

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