Keith Reid

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Keith Reid
Birth nameKeith Stuart Brian Reid
Born (1946-10-19) 19 October 1946 (age 76)
OriginWelwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England[1]
GenresPsychedelic rock, progressive rock
Occupation(s)Lyricist, songwriter
Years active1967–present

Keith Stuart Brian Reid (born 19 October 1946[2]) is a lyricist and songwriter who wrote the lyrics of every song released by Procol Harum that was not previously recorded by someone else, with the exception of the songs on their 2017 album Novum.


Reid grew up in London and is Jewish, the son of a Holocaust survivor.[3] He left school at an early age to pursue a songwriting career. 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.[4] Reid continued to write lyrics for the band until they disbanded in 1977.[2] Reid has said that the dark tone of his lyric writing derives from his familial experience of the Holocaust.[3]

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

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.[5]


  1. ^ "Keith Reid". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b [Keith Reid at AllMusic biography by Jason Ankeny]
  3. ^ a b Benarde, Scott. "Emotional Scars: Keith Reid on the effects of the Holocaust". Procol Harum: Beyond the Pale. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  4. ^ Welch, Chris (1997). Shine on Brightly (Liner Notes). Procol Harum. Repertoire Records. p. 3.
  5. ^ "THE KRP (Keith Reid Project) - In My Head". GerMusica. Retrieved 13 November 2018.

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