Seems like our patrons just can't get enough of their country music trivia these days! Hot on the heels of last week's Conway Twitty query was a reference question about the good ol' Statler Brothers. But not just the Statler Brothers. No, our patron wanted to know the name of Harold Reid's (the bass singer's) mother.
Where does one search for this type of information, you ask? That's what we were asking ourselves as we racked our brain for possible resources. Since Harold Reid's mother isn't really considered a celebrity, the likelihood of finding her name in connection to her famous son's band was slim. Perhaps her name would be included in an album's liner notes, but even if Harold wanted to thank his mama for her love and inspiration, it's doubtful that he'd use her first and last name to correspond with his words of gratitude.
After doing a little extra digging, we found that Harold Reid's brother, Don S. Reid, was also a member of the Statler Brothers. (Wonder why the band wasn't called the Reid Brothers?) Both brothers are listed to be in their mid-60s (thanks, IMDB!), so we began to wonder if Mama Reid was still alive. If she wasn't, there was likely an obituary floating around out there that confirmed her first and last name along with her connection to Harold and Don Reid.
Off to Ancestry.com we went. A really helpful feature there is their advanced search of the United States Obituary Collection, where you can conduct searches using a deceased person's survivors' names. Since we knew Harold and Don's names, and since we knew that the Reids were natives of Virginia, we plugged that information into the engine.
Sure enough, after scanning a few pages of search results (ten, to be exact), we found her! Frances Craun Reid Shiflett, aged 92, of Staunton, Virginia (home of Harold and Don Reid) passed away on May 23, 2004. Harold and Don's names are listed in the obituary along with a lovely tribute to their mother's life and family.
(And no, this particular Frances Reid is not to be confused with the Frances Reid of Days of Our Lives!)
Another completed reference question in the books! Please excuse us while we prepare for our next shift at the Reference Desk by reading biographies about Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.