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Susan Reed

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Susan Reed
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In the early 50s, Susan Reed was running an antiques store on Greenwich Avenue and had all but retired as a folk singer. Born into a theatrical family in 1926, her father, Daniel Reed, was a noted actor, theatre director, and playwright. Her parents’ houseguests often included folklorist Carl Sandburg, Leadbelly, and members of the Abbey Theatre Irish Players, from whom she learnt many traditional Irish songs. She also took up the Irish harp and the zither and by her mid teens, Reed was singing professionally in New York City at the Cafe Society Uptown nightclub and playing the circuit of clubs, concerts, and colleges. Reed had already recorded for RCA and Colombia in the 40s and was the first recognised artist to sign to the fledgling Elektra label. Reed recorded the first of her three Elektra LPs, for Elektra, Sings Old Airs From Ireland, Scotland And England, in a small Village church one evening in 1954. The reviewer for The New York Times described it as the best vocal recording he’d ever heard which helped establish Elektra’s reputation for high sound quality recording.
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