Keith Reid

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Keith Reid
Reid in 1999
Reid in 1999
Background information
Birth nameKeith Stuart Brian Reid
Born(1946-10-19)19 October 1946
Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England
Died23 March 2023(2023-03-23) (aged 76)
London, England
GenresPsychedelic rock, progressive rock, Art rock
Occupation(s)Lyricist, songwriter
Years active1966–2023

Keith Stuart Brian Reid (19 October 1946 – 23 March 2023)[1][2] was an English lyricist and songwriter.

He was best known for being the songwriter who wrote the lyrics of every original song released by Procol Harum, with the exception of the songs on their 2017 album, Novum. He co-founded the band with Gary Brooker. Reid was a non-performing member, he did not play any instrument, and did not record with Procol Harum. After the band's break-up in 1977, he began composing songs. Most notably, he co-wrote "You're the Voice", a UK top-10 hit for Australian singer John Farnham.


Early life[edit]

Reid was born on 19 October 1946.[3] He grew up in London and was Jewish, the son of a Holocaust survivor.[4] He left school at an early age to pursue a songwriting career.

Procol Harum[edit]

He met Gary Brooker, lead singer with Procol Harum, with whom he co-wrote most of the band's songs (some music was written by organist Matthew Fisher and by guitarist Robin Trower), in 1966. They began collaborating, and their composition "A Whiter Shade of Pale", Procol Harum's first single, was released in 1967. It reached the top of the UK Singles Chart and sold over six million copies worldwide. Keith Reid was an official member of Procol Harum and attended all their recording sessions and most of their concert performances, despite having no performance role in the band.[5] Reid continued to write lyrics for the band until they disbanded in 1977.[3] Reid has said that the dark tone of his lyric writing derives from his familial experience of the Holocaust.[4]

He reunited with Brooker and Procol Harum for the albums The Prodigal Stranger (1991) and The Well's on Fire (2003).

Other works[edit]

Reid also wrote the lyrics for two songs by the French singer Michel Polnareff in 1966 ("You'll Be On My Mind" and "Time Will Tell"), and was co-writer for the John Farnham hit "You're the Voice" (1986).

Reid moved to New York and founded a management company in 1986.

In August 2008, a new album, The Common Thread, was issued under The Keith Reid Project banner. Reid wrote the lyrics for the songs, which were performed by a variety of musicians, including Southside Johnny, Chris Thompson, John Waite and Michael Saxell. The album was produced by Keith Reid and Matt Noble.

A new album from the Keith Reid Project, In My Head, was released in December 2018.[6]


Reid died from colon cancer on 23 March 2023, at the age of 76.[7][8]

Songwriting credits[edit]

Procol Harum[edit]

Michel Polnareff[edit]

  • You'll Be On My Mind (1966)
  • Time Will Tell (1966)

John Farnham[edit]


  1. ^ "Keith Reid, Procol Harum's excellent lyricist". Beyond the Pale. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  2. ^ Keith Reid, Procol Harum Lyricist, Dies at 76. Best Classic Bands. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  3. ^ a b "Keith Reid Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 July 2023.
  4. ^ a b Benarde, Scott. "Emotional Scars: Keith Reid on the effects of the Holocaust". Procol Harum: Beyond the Pale. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  5. ^ Welch, Chris (1997). Shine on Brightly (Liner Notes). Procol Harum. Repertoire Records. p. 3.
  6. ^ "THE KRP (Keith Reid Project) - In My Head". GerMusica. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Whiter Shade Of Pale: Procol Harum Songwriter Has Died". Slipped Disc. 29 March 2023. Retrieved 29 March 2023.
  8. ^ Cashmere, Paul (29 March 2023). "'You're The Voice' Co-Writer Keith Reid of Procol Harum Dead At Age 76". Noise 11. Retrieved 29 March 2023.

External links[edit]