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Richard Harold
Born:  June 21, 1884
Died:  October 31, 1947

About The Artist

Richard Harold was a blind street singer who recorded one four-song session for Columbia in October 1928.

Born in Piper's Gap, Virginia, his family moved to Mercer County, West Virginia when he was four and he lived there the rest of his life. When he was about nineteen, he lost his eyesight in an industrial accident and was forced to take up music for a livelihood.

Harold's recording career consisted of a trip to Johnson City, Tennessee where Columbia held field sessions in both 1928 and 1929.

He was accompanied by Fred Pendleton on fiddle on one of his songs.

Later in 1931, Harold journeyed to Richmond, Indiana and played guitar on recordings with Fred Pendleton and his West Virginia Melody Boys.

Other than that, his music was confined to local events in the Princeton and Bluefield area.

The research for information on Mr. Harold's life turned up one interesting tidbit. It was termed a 'sensational elopement' by a newspaper. It was reported that 17 hear old Miss Myrtle Pendleton eloped with a Richard Harold said to be about 35 years old and blind. The news account stated she eluded her parents, walked seven miles over rough, muddy roads to Cowan Creek to meet up with her lover. The two of them were said to have walked through the snow, over 'almost impassable roads' for 35 miles to Wise County, VA where they obtained a license and were married.

Richard Harold - Columbia 15426-D - 1928

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly-Music.com would like to express its thanks to Ivan M. Tribe, author of Mountaineer Jamboree — Country Music in West Virginia and other books that can be found on Amazon.com and numerous articles in other publications for providing us with information about this artist.
  • Elopes With Blind Man; March 14, 1916; The West Virginian; Fairmont, WV

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Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  15426 D A Mary Dear
  15426 D B Sweet Bird
  15586 D A The Fisher's Maid
  15586 D B The Battleship Maine

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