Harold Reed is thought by
many to be one of the most talented tenors to ever come along in Southern
Gospel music. He has been a part of popular groups like The Dixie Melody Boys,
Florida Boys, and currently The Kingsmen. Here's his story…
all started at Landmark Baptist Church in Cincinnati, Ohiom in 1979. An
8-year-old Harold Reed listened in awe to what would become his favorite
Southern Gospel group of all time - the prestigious Cathedral Quartet. The
young boy was enamored by the smooth harmony and the alluring personality of
the quartet. This was his first taste of quartet singing and it certainly
wouldn't be his last—he was hooked!
Not long after,
his parents, Bill and Sandra Reed, took their son to see the legendary Kingsmen
live in concert. The energy and excitement was contagious.
"I thought if
they can have that much fun singing", Harold remembers, "then that is what I
want to do with my life! I didn't even know I had any talent at that time," he
As time went by,
he was introduced to other popular quartets like Gold City, The Thrasher
Brothers, and The Oak Ridge Boys, and all the while, his love for the music
growing. Sandra Reed was a locally- revered music teacher who taught her
children, at a very early age, the fundamentals of music and how to sing
harmony. Harold, his mother, and two sisters would often sing together in
church throughout his childhood.
In 1988, the
Reeds relocated to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
There, a 17-year-old Harold began following the career of another Asheville
resident: Gospel music legend, Squire Parsons. One night at a concert, Harold's
sister, Tari, made mention to the legend that her brother was looking for a
singing job. Not long after, Harold spotted Squire leaving a restaurant in
Asheville and decided to stop and speak to him. During the conversation that
followed, Squire told Harold that he was interested in hiring a sound
technician and product assistant.
Now, Harold made
it known that he would love to work for Squire. After praying about the matter
for a few weeks, Harold got a phone call offering him the position, and he
gladly accepted! During the year that followed, Squire would become the most influential
individual in Harold's career.
Later, as Harold
worked for an Asheville company, Union Camp, making cardboard boxes and working
other odd jobs, he sang part-time with regional groups, The Crossmen and The
Melodyaires. In November of 1993, The Melodyaires hosted The Dixie Melody Boys
(DMB) at their annual homecoming concert. At that concert, DMB pianist Eric
Ollis informed Harold that the tenor position would be opening and asked if
Harold would be interested.
Graham have a quiet time??", Harold joked.
Not long after,
the phone rang at the Reed household. It was McCray Dove, lead singer for the
DMB, on the other end asking Harold to drive to Kinston, North Carolina, to
audition. After learning every DMB song he could find, he made the drive to
Kinston. The manager of the DMB, Ed O'Neal, offered Harold the job that day! Ed
then asked his baritone singer, Rodney Griffin, to gather the material that
Harold would need to learn before going on the road following Christmas
vacation. (During that vacation Rodney would join Greater Vision, but that's a
On the evening of
December 29, 1993, Harold boarded The Dixie Melody Boys' Silver Eagle; and the
rest... is history.