Mike Reid’s Bengal Ballad

I remember as a young Cincinnati Bengals fan what a brain-tickling proposition it was to have an NCAA All-American and All-Pro NFL defensive lineman who, when out of uniform, would play the piano with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and how this activity amusingly defied expectations of manly behavior in a manly era (this was around the same time that Rosie Grier revealed himself to be a needlepoint enthusiast).  I am, of course, referring to number 74, Mike Reid, who would leave football to become a top songwriter in Nashville, penning “Stranger in My House” for Ronnie Milsap and co-writing “I Can’t Make You Love Me” for Bonnie Raitt, among many other hits.

According to the person who posted this song on YouTube, “A Time for Peace” was “recorded in 1971 [when] Mike Reid was still playing football for the Cincinnati Bengals.  The song was produced by long-time Cincinnati recording facility owner and music producer Shad O’Shea”:

“A Time for Peace”     Mike Reid     1971

Randy McNutt, author of The Cincinnati Sound and King Records of Cincinnati, confirms that the song was originally released on Counterpart and then, guess what?  “Laurie leased it and re-issued it,” says McNutt, “It wasn’t a hit, but it was a good record.  Shad had a small orchestra on it!”

Mike ReidOddly, no images of this Mike Reid 45 (neither Counterpart nor Laurie) can be found online – clearly this is a forgotten song … but no longer.

July 2020 Update

Discogs now has a minimal entry for the Laurie 45 (mis-classified as “bubblegum”), though without the 45 label image, while 45Cat contributors, fortunately, have since uploaded high-res images for both releases.

Joe Richard very helpfully adds —

As I recall, it was released in late November or early December of 1971.  The only radio station in Cincinnati to give it any air play at the time was 700 WLW, and then I only heard it when Jim LaBarbara was on the air.  I think the 45 was a one-time thing at the time for Mike since he was still playing for the Bengals.  However, he did make a few appearances on Nick Clooney’s daily shows on Channel 9, and then on Nick’s Channel 12 show which was on 11:30-12:30 in the morning/afternoon.

I befriended Shad O’Shea in 2002, visited him at his office in Cheviot, where he had mint copies of every 45 he had produced in a large file cabinet consisting of 6 large drawers full of 45s.

Note that the Counterpart label above gives engineering credit to Gene Lawson, inventor of the Lawson microphone.

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