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Mike Reid (singer)

Mike Reid
Birth name Michael Barry Reid
Born (1947-05-24) May 24, 1947
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Genres Country music, Rock, musical theatre
Occupation(s) songwriter, musical theatre composer, musician
Years active 1960s–present
Labels Columbia (solo releases)
Associated acts Ronnie Milsap (several number-one songs)
Website .commike-reid
NFL career (1969-1974)
No. 68 then 74
Position: Defensive tackle
Career information
College: Penn State
NFL draft: 1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Tackles: --
Interceptions: -
Stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Michael Barry "Mike" Reid (born May 24, 1947[1]) is an American country music artist, composer, and retired American football player.

Born and raised in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Reid attended college at and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University, where he played defensive lineman for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team. He then spent five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals in the National Football League, earning trips to the Pro Bowl after the 1972 and '73 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) charts as a singer, including the Number One hit "Walk on Faith."


  • Football career 1
  • Music career 2
  • Discography 3
    • Studio albums 3.1
    • Singles 3.2
    • Guest singles 3.3
    • Songwriting 3.4
    • Music videos 3.5
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Football career

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 also was awarded the 1969 Maxwell Trophy 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]

Reid was the first-round selection (#7 pick overall) of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1970 NFL Draft. 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.

Music career

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.

When he gave up his football career, he formed a band and started playing at the Holiday Inn across the river from Cincinnati, then gave up bands and started playing at the Blind Lemon, starting 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, he and some other musicians went over to Southeastern Music Hall about 3:30 in the morning. A tape of that session somehow found its way to Jerry Jeff Walker, who on 1978 became the first artist to record a Reid song, that being Eastern Avenue River Railway Blues.[3]

In 1980, he moved to Nashville, and quickly became known as a top songwriter for the likes of Ronnie Milsap. Larry Gatlin also helped Reid start his songwriting career.

In 1984, he won the Grammy Award for Best Country Song with "Stranger in My House", which was recorded by Ronnie Milsap. Reid would also work with Marie Osmond, Tanya Tucker, Collin Raye, Alabama and Conway Twitty. In the 1980s and 1990s, Reid wrote twelve number one hits.[1] 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 standard "I Can't Make You Love Me".

In 1990, Reid signed to Columbia Records as a recording artist. His debut album Turning for Home produced a Number One country hit in its lead-off single "Walk on Faith", although the album's other singles were not as successful. His second and final album, 1992's Twilight Town, produced two singles which both missed the Top 40.

By 1991, Reid composed the music for the Civil War musical A House Divided. After that he wrote six 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.[4]

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


Studio albums

Title Album details Peak positions
US Country
Turning for Home 22
Twilight Town
  • Release date: September 29, 1992
  • Label: Columbia Records


Year Single Peak chart
US Country
CAN Country
1990 "Walk on Faith" 1 1 Turning for Home
1991 "Till You Were Gone" 17 8
"As Simple as That" 14 11
1992 "I'll Stop Loving You" 23 11
"I Got a Life" 54 81
"Keep On Walkin'" 45 52 Twilight Town
1993 "Call Home" 43 42

Guest singles

Year Single Artist Peak chart
US Country CAN Country
1988 "Old Folks" Ronnie Milsap 2 12 Heart & Soul


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

Music videos

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
  2. ^
  3. ^ "An American Poet" by Roger Naylor, Cincinnati Magazine, October 1988, pages 36-37
  4. ^ Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Mike Reid at the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Career statistics and player information from • Pro-Football-Reference •
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