March 4, 1924: Blues Musician Nat Reese Born in Virginia

Mar 4, 2016

Credit e-WV Encyclopedia / Michael Keller

Blues musician Nat Reese was born in Salem, Virginia, on March 4, 1924. When he was young, his family moved to Wyoming County and then to Princeton in Mercer County. He grew up listening to a variety of music, including jazz, blues, and country. And he learned to play the guitar, piano, organ, bass, and string harp.

Reese worked in local coal mines while going to high school. For two years, he played jazz and blues on Bill Farmer’s Saturday night radio show on WHIS in Bluefield. He also was part of a dance band that played jazz, polkas, and blues throughout the southern coalfields.

Nat Reese was honored with the 1995 Vandalia Award and was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame in 2009. He died in 2012 at age 88.