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). My brother, Dean, recalls attending this special musical event at the renowned Music Hall in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine:
Billboard news item — ‘Music Capitals of the World: Cincinnati’ — January 21, 1972
Mike Reid, linebacker with the Cincinnati Bengals football team, will play his own compositions, “Cries of Love and Hate” and “Swan’s Reverie for Piano Solo and Orchestra,” with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Music Hall Feb. 6 in a benefit performance by the Catholic Women of Cincinnati.
How fascinating to find out later that number 74, Mike Reid, 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.
As noted by Joe Richard, who posted “A Time for Peace” on YouTube —
“Recorded in 1971, 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!”
Oddly, no images of this Mike Reid 45 (neither Counterpart nor Laurie) can be found online – clearly this is a forgotten song … but no longer.
“The Maestro of Mayhem”
The Gavin Report — Nov. 2, 1990
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 airplay 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.
When I was 11-12, Shad was a popular DJ on WCPO 1230 radio in Cincinnati. Mike Reid also appeared as a musician on one or two of the WEBN album projects from the ’80s [e.g., plays clarinet for Danny Morgan on Album Project #4]. A few years ago Mike came to town for the Northern Kentucky Music Legends at Tower Park in Ft Thomas, sat in with Danny Morgan’s group on a couple of songs. I posted one of the songs to YouTube [“You Ain’t Going Nowhere“].
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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