Mike Reid (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mike Reid
Born (1947-05-24) May 24, 1947 (age 77)
Musical career
Birth nameMichael Barry Reid
Also known asMike Reid
OriginNashville, Tennessee, U.S.
GenresCountry music, rock, musical theatre
Occupation(s)Songwriter, musical theatre composer, musician
Years active1960s–present

American football career
No. 74
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Altoona Area
College:Penn State (1966, 1968–1969)
NFL draft:1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Fumble recoveries:2
Player stats at PFR

Michael Barry Reid (born May 24, 1947)[1] is an American country music artist, composer, and former professional football player. He played as a defensive tackle for five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League (NFL).

Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Reid attended and graduated from Pennsylvania State University, where he played college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Selected by the Bengals in the first round of the 1970 NFL draft with the seventh overall pick, he earned trips to the Pro Bowl after the 1972 and 1973 seasons, before retiring after the 1974 season. He subsequently focused on his musical career, co-writing several hit singles for country music artists, including Ronnie Milsap's "Stranger in My House", which won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1984. Reid later began a solo recording career, releasing two studio albums for Columbia Records. He charted seven singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart as a singer, including the number one hit "Walk on Faith".

Football career[edit]

At college, Reid was a captain on both the Nittany Lions undefeated 1968 and 1969 teams that went 22-0. In his senior year (1969), the tackle spearheaded Penn State on defense with 89 tackles and was a unanimous All-America choice and All-East selection. He won the Outland Trophy as the best College football interior lineman in 1969, and also was awarded the 1969 Maxwell Award and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. Reid also wrestled at Penn State and in 1967 he won the Eastern heavyweight wrestling title.[2] In addition to athletics, Reid played Chicago gangster Big Julie in Penn State's production of the musical Guys and Dolls.[3]

Reid was the first-round selection (#7 pick overall) of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1970 NFL draft.[4] In the team's third season, it won the AFC Central Division and made the playoffs. In 1971, Reid established himself as one of the NFL's best pass rushers by recording 12 sacks, a figure he repeated in 1972. In 1971 Reid was a consensus All-AFC selection and the following year he was consensus All-Pro as well as being voted consensus All-AFC again.

In 1973, he topped those marks by recording 13 sacks. He was named All-Pro by the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) and was second-team All-Pro according to the Associated Press and Pro Football Writers Association. For the third consecutive season Reid was consensus All-AFC.

In 1974, due primarily to injuries, he recorded only seven sacks, bringing his career total to 49. In his final season, Reid was again an All-AFC selection by Pro Football Weekly. Although sacks were an unofficial statistic, the Bengals kept track of them and Reid retired as the leading sacker in the team's short history.

He made two trips to the Pro Bowl (1972 and 1973) before his retirement following the 1974 season due to knee and hand injuries and his desire to focus on a music career. In 1996, he received the NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award for his success in his post-NFL career.

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and received the Walter Camp "Alumnus of the Year" award in 1987. In 1995, he received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Reid was named as part of the Bengals' 40th Anniversary All-Time team in 2007. In 2017, Reid was named as part of the Bengals' 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Music career[edit]

After receiving his BA in music from Pennsylvania State University in 1969, Reid would perform as a pianist for the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.[5]

When he abandoned his football career, he formed a band and began playing at a Holiday Inn location across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, then abandoned the idea of performing in bands and began playing solo at the Blind Lemon, and in the process, beginning to write his own songs. Living in Mount Lookout, he drove Eastern Avenue daily, and slowly "Eastern Avenue River Railway Blues" grew out of that. After a gig in Atlanta, Reid and some other musicians attended Southeastern Music Hall about 3:30 a.m. A cassette tape of that session somehow found its way to Jerry Jeff Walker, who, in 1978, became the first artist to record a Reid song, that being "Eastern Avenue River Railway Blues".[6]

In 1980, Reid moved to Nashville, and quickly became known as an in-demand songwriter for Ronnie Milsap. Larry Gatlin also helped Reid spearhead his songwriting career.

In 1984, Reid won a Grammy Award for Best Country Song with "Stranger in My House", which was recorded by Ronnie Milsap. Reid would also contribute compositions to artists such as Marie Osmond, Tanya Tucker, Collin Raye, Alabama, and Conway Twitty. In the 1980s and 1990s, Reid wrote 12 No. 1 singles[1] including "Forever's as Far as I'll Go", which was recorded in 1990 by Alabama; their 29th number one country hit. He was also featured as a guest vocalist on Milsap's "Old Folks", a No. 2 hit from early 1988. He also co-wrote, with Allen Shamblin, Bonnie Raitt's hit "I Can't Make You Love Me", which reached #18 on the Billboard Pop Charts and has been covered by countless artists.

In 1990, Reid signed to Columbia Records as a recording artist. His debut album Turning for Home produced a No. 1 country hit in its lead-off single "Walk on Faith", although the album's other singles were not as successful. His second album, 1992's Twilight Town, produced two singles which both missed the Top 40.

A third album, New Direction Home, was released two decades later in 2012 by the small Off Row Records label[7] and is available on iTunes and Spotify as well as in an mp3 download from Reid's website.[8]

By 1991, Reid composed the music for the Civil War musical A House Divided. Over the following two decades, he wrote more musicals, including Quilts, Different Fields, Eye of the Blackbird, Tales of Appalachia, In This House, and The Ballad of Little Jo, a 1997 winner of the Academy of Arts and Letters' 'Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater'.[9][10]

In 2019, he again returned to the musical theater stage with The Last Day, a commissioned production co-written with NYU Tisch School of Performing Arts Assistant Dean, Sarah Schlesinger, for Reid's alma mater, Penn State.[3]

Reid was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005.[1]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak positions
US Country
Turning for Home 22
Twilight Town
  • Release date: September 29, 1992
  • Label: Columbia Records
New Direction Home
  • Release date: February 6, 2012
  • Label: Off Row Records


Year Single Peak positions Album
US Country
CAN Country
1988 "Old Folks" (with Ronnie Milsap) 2 12 Heart & Soul
1990 "Walk on Faith" 1 1 Turning for Home
1991 "Till You Were Gone" 17 8
"As Simple as That" 14 11
"I'll Stop Loving You" 23 11
1992 "I Got a Life" 54 81
"Keep On Walkin'" 45 52 Twilight Town
"Call Home" 43 42


For the most notable recordings of songs written by Mike Reid, see Category:Songs written by Mike Reid (singer).

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
1991 "Walk on Faith" Deaton-Flanigen Productions
1992 "I'll Stop Loving You"
"Keep On Walkin'" Phil Tuckett
1993 "Call Home" Deaton-Flanigen Productions


  1. ^ a b c "Mike Reid". Nashville Songwriters Foundation. Archived from the original on 16 February 2015. Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  2. ^ [1] [dead link]
  3. ^ a b Sarah Paez. ""Experience the genuine." Former Penn State football star Mike Reid talks new musical". Centredaily.com. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  4. ^ "1970 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football Reference. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  5. ^ Paez, Sarah. "'Experience the genuine.' Former Penn State football star Mike Reid talks new musical". Centre Daily. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  6. ^ "An American Poet" by Roger Naylor, Cincinnati Magazine, October 1988, pages 36-37
  7. ^ "The NFL's country music hit maker". Espn.com. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  8. ^ "HOME". Mikereidmusic.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  9. ^ "American Academy of Arts and Letters - Award Winners". Archived from the original on 2010-09-12. Retrieved 2010-06-06. Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater
  10. ^ "Original Gene Watson Fan Site - Gene Watson's Peers: Quote from Mike Reid: May 2012". Gene-watson.com. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
  11. ^ "Mike Reid - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  12. ^ "Mike Reid - Hot Country Songs". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  13. ^ "Mike Reid - Country Singles". RPM. 17 July 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2018.

External links[edit]