Rebel Records, which operated in Asbury, Greenbrier County, from 1974 through 1979, developed into a major force in bluegrass music. The company had been founded in 1959 at Mt. Rainier, Maryland, by Bill Carroll and Richard Freeland, the latter soon becoming the sole owner. In its early years the firm recorded several country and bluegrass singles, primarily by artists in the Baltimore-Washington area, but by the 1970s concentrated on the bluegrass album market. The Country Gentleman, the Seldom Scene, and Ralph Stanley’s Clinch Mountain Boys, among the largest names in the music, constituted Rebel’s principal acts. In 1974, Freeland moved his operation to Asbury in Greenbrier County, where it remained until he sold the firm to David Freeman of Roanoke, Virginia, who already owned County Records. Freeman continues to operate both companies from Virginia. Expatriate West Virginians who have recorded for Rebel include fiddler Curly Ray Cline, the Goins Brothers, Cliff Waldron, and Wilma Lee Cooper.
This Article was written by Ivan M. Tribe
Last Revised on June 10, 2013
Rebel Records: 1960-1995. Roanoke, VA: Rebel Records, 1997.