Statler Brothers Member, Country Hall of Famer Was 80 – Variety


Harold Reid, the bass singer within the long-running nation vocal quartet the Statler Brothers, died Friday night time at age 80. A publish on the group’s web site stated that Reid “had bravely endured a protracted battle with kidney failure.”

The group had retired in 2002 after being collectively in varied configurations since 1955. They have been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Though their run of nation high 10 hits prolonged from the mid-’60s into the late ’80s, the Statler Brothers stay maybe best-remembered for his or her country-pop crossover hit “Flowers on the Wall,” and for a years-long affiliation with Johnny Money that included a stint on his community tv present within the late ’60s.

Country music celebrity Reba McEntire was amongst these mourning Reid’s dying. “The one, the one Harold Reid,” she tweeted Sunday. “We’ll always remember you. So many nice recollections, and I’ll always remember you giving me my very first Country Music award. Love all the time, Reba.”

The Statler Brothers triumphed of their day by bringing a gospel quartet singing fashion into the realm of nation. Though their roots have been within the church and so they continued to sing gospel materials, clearly they’d branched out by the point they’d their first and most memorable hit in 1965 with an upbeat however lovelorn tune written by group member Lew DeWitt, “Flowers on the Wall,” which included an unforgettable line about “smoking cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo.”

That line was recited by Bruce Willis within the movie “Die Arduous With a Vengeance,” and the tune itself was re-popularized when Quentin Tarantino used it within the soundtrack for “Pulp Fiction.” Artwork Bell additionally used it as frequent theme music on his late-night radio present. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. lauded it as “a poem in regards to the finish of a person’s usefulness.” In 1965, he single reached No. 2 on the nation chart and No. four on the pop chart, and was quickly lined by Nancy Sinatra. A remake by Eric Heatherly reached the nation high 10 35 years later, in 2000.

The group cracked the highest 10 a pair extra occasions within the 1960s — as with the uniquely titled “You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith, Too” (written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putnam) — however discovered their subsequent biggest impression in 1970 with a tune written by Reid, “Mattress of Rose’s.” The punctuation was deliberate, because the tune offers with the younger narrator’s dalliance with a prostitute named Rose. In an unlikely utilization much like the renewed curiosity in “Flowers on the Wall” through “Pulp Fiction,” “Mattress of Rose’s” reached a brand new era a long time later by being included within the common PlayStation sport “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.”

The Statler Brothers went on to have a number of No. 1 nation hits, lastly reaching the highest with “Do You Know You Are My Sunshine” in 1978, adopted by “Elizabeth” in 1984 and “My Solely Love” and “Too A lot on My Coronary heart” in 1985. Their remaining charting single was in 1990.

“Harold Reid was a driving drive in a single of nation music’s biggest quartets, ” stated Kyle Younger, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “He was additionally an amazing entertainer, and one of the world’s funniest individuals. For many years, he made us giggle and made us cry. As his alter ego, Lester ‘Roadhog’ Moran, would say, his contributions have been ‘mighty tremendous.’ We mourn his loss whereas we rejoice a life well-lived.”

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The late Harold Reid and Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers pose for a photograph on the 10th Annual ACM Honors at Ryman Auditorium, in Nashville
Sanford Myers/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Opposite to impressions, there was nobody named Statler within the group, which was initially named the Kingsmen and, going through confusion with different acts sharing that identify, adopted a brand new one after seeing the Statler model on a field of tissues. Thee have been brothers, nonetheless: Don Reid was their lead singer, with older brother Harold taking the bass elements. Baritone Phil Balsley and tenor Lew DeWitt accomplished the quartet. Jimmy Fortune (pictured above with Reid in 2016) took DeWitt’s place after he fell unwell within the early ’80s.

Johnny Money gave them their huge break when he came across them of their native Staunton, Virginia in 1864 and invited them to open for him on an upcoming tour — with out truly listening to them sing, the story goes. They remained with him as a backing quarter and/or opening act for eight years and have been featured on ABC’s “The Johnny Money Present” from 1969-71.

Little recognized was the truth that Harold designed Money’s authentic lengthy black coat, which got here to be a trademark. “It simply tickled him,” he stated. “As much as that point, he simply wore shirt and pants that have been black. This kind of added to his picture and appeared good for tv.”

The Statler Brothers traveled with Money to Folsom Jail for his well-known performances there. Though they didn’t seem on the unique hit “At Folsom Jail” LP, when Money’s album was reissued as a deluxe CD set in 2008, the group’s practically 40-year-old renditions of “Flowers on the Wall,” “How Nice Thou Artwork” and “You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith, Too” for a jail viewers have been lastly launched to the general public.

In 2008, after they have been introduced as Country Hall of Fame members, Reid reacted with humor. “I used to be alerted that I might get a name from the CMA,” he advised CMT. “I actually thought that my dues have been in arrears. It was onerous to consider at first. I began to inform the operator to examine this name. It was a fairly particular second.”

He advised CMT that the group had been in a position to retire as a result of they invested correctly. “We’d heard all these tales over time about two nation music stars getting collectively and flushing cash down the bathroom to show that one had greater than the opposite. We determined that in all probability wasn’t a good suggestion,” he joked.

After their 2002 retirement, Harold Reid lived quietly on an 85-acre farm in his native Virginia along with his spouse, Brenda.


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