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Bill and Mary Reid
and the Melody Mountaineers
Born:  June 17, 1926
Died:  August 10, 2009
WLVA Lynchburg, VA

About The Artist

Bill and Mary Reid were an act out of Virginia. Bill was the leader and organizer of the group and was from Lexington, Virginia. In an old folio of his, they mentioned that he came from a musical family where his father, brother and sister were all involved with country music.

His wife, Mary Reid, helped him organize the group in 1951 and was from the little town of Keezletown, Virginia they said. She got her start in the entertainment business, singing over a local radio station in her home town with her sister. Quite an accomplished artist in her own right, she was named "Queen of Viriginia Country Music Singers" for three years at the annual Virginia Folk Music Festival held in Blackstone. She and Bill got married on December 5, 1945.

In 1953, they were performing for their audiences over radio station WFLO out of Farmville, Virginia every day at 11:30am. They were said to have a 'home-spun' show that featured old-time country pickin' and singin', heart songs, gsopel tunes and novelty numbers as well.

Their show then was aired over a network of Virginia stations. They were also known as the "Shenandoah Valley Sweethearts" as they were both born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and had been married for nearly ten years by the time we found an article about them in 1953. Their radio careers were also about ten years time by then, too.

At one time, we also found that they had a television show that aired over WLVA-TV, Channel 13.

Curley Garner, who played electric guitar for the group off and on over a period of years, was from Robbins, NC. He married the former Louise Stevens of Lovingston, Virginia.

Another member of the band, Joe Meadows played fiddle with the Bill Monroe group on the Grand Ole Opry before he joined the Melody Mountaineers. He married a gal by the name of Carolyn Trent of Charlotte County, Virginia.

Curley Lambert played mandolin for the group and was from a town called Brodnax, Virginia. He married Shirley Woods of Farmville, Virginia.

Bill also wrote many of the tunes the Melody Mountaineers recorded such as:

  • Blue Ridge Waltz
  • In the Valley
  • You're Stepping Out On Me
  • Sweet Lovin' Man

Timeline and Trivia Notes

Group Members included:

  • Bill Reid, rhythm guitar, bass fiddle, vocals
  • Mary Reid, bass fiddle, vocals, guitar
  • Curley Gardner, electric guitar, vocals
  • Swanson Walker, banjo
  • Joe Meadows, fiddle
  • Curely Lambert, mandolin, guitar, bass fiddle

Credits & Sources

  • Cowboy Songs No.28; September 1953, American Folk Publications, Inc.; Derby, CT.
  • a folio of Bill and Mary Reid and the Melody Mountaineers, cover missing; provided courtesy of Dick Hill, former country music artist and disc jockey now retired and country music historian

Recordings (78rpm/45rpm)

Rec. No. Side Song Title
  21497 A In My Heart I Love You Yet
  21497 B Blue Ridge Waltz
  21529 A Get Down On Your Knees And Pray
  21529 B I'll Never Be Lonesome
  21557 A I Love Him Too
  21557 B Your Sweet Loving Man
  40837 A Who Knows Right From Wrong
  40837 B You're Stepping Out On Me
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  325 A In The Valley
  325 B She Can't Stand The Light Of Day
  343 A I Want To Be Wanted
  343 B Beautie Cutie