Mike Reid received his degree in music from Penn State University
in 1970. But that achievement was considerably overshadowed by his
reputation on the football field.
At Penn State he was an All-America
selection and won the Outland Trophy as the country's outstanding
collegiate lineman. He was the first-round draft pick of the Cincinnati
Bengals that year and at the end of his first season in the NFL, was
named Defensive Rookie Of The Year.
Reid's success continued when
he was voted NFL All-Pro in 1972 and '73. In spite of these honors,
Reid decided he would rather play music than football for a living. He
retired from the Bengals and in 1980, moved to Nashville to pursue
Since 1983 when Mike Reid scored his first number one country hit song
"Inside" by Ronnie Milsap, he has composed more than 30 top ten country
and pop hits. Twenty-one of those records have gone all the way to
number one on the charts.
He has been the recipient of ASCAPS' "Songwriter of the Year"
award and one of the many songs that Milsap recorded, "Stranger In My
House", has earned a Grammy award.
In addition to Milsap, Reid has had his songs recorded by Bonnie
Raitt, Anita Baker, Bette Midler, Prince, George Michael, Nancy Wilson,
Etta James, Kenny Rogers, Ann Murray, Wynonna Judd, Alabama, Joe
Cocker, Tanya Tucker, Willie Nelson, Collin Raye and Tim McGraw. Among
the songs that Mike has composed are "I Can't Make You Love Me" (Raitt,
Michael and Prince), "My Strongest Weakness" and "To Be Loved By You"
(Judd), "In This Life" (Raye and Midler), "Sometimes I Wonder Why"
(Baker), "Forever's As Far As I'll Go" (Alabama) and "Everywhere"
In 1992, Reid composed the score for "Quilts", a modern dance
piece created by Andrew Krichels and Donna Rizzo of The Tennessee
Dance Theatre. Following the premiere, Reid, Krichels and Rizzo
received The Governor's Award for the Arts in Tennessee for their
work on "Quilts."
In addition, Reid was commissioned by the Kandinsky Trio of
Roanoke, Virginia to write a piece for piano trio and storyteller. The
piece, entitled "The Cantankerous Blacksmith," premiered in the fall
of 1995 and continues to be part of the Kandinsky's touring
Reid has collaborated with librettist Sarah Schlesinger on a one-act
opera commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera
Memphis that explores the myth of celebrity in contemporary
The opera, entitled "Different Fields", received its
premiere in New York City at the New Victory Theatre on Broadway.
"Different Fields" has since been produced in Memphis and Nashville
and by The Cincinnati Opera.
Reid and Schlesinger's musical entitled "The Ballad of Little Jo"
received a 1998 Richard Rodgers Foundation Award and its first
production in September 2000 at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater
won the Joseph Jefferson award for Best New Musical. It has also
been produced at the Bridewell Theater in London. Currently it is in
development at The Public Theater in New York City.
Reid's composition "Eye of The Blackbird", a setting for piano trio
and soprano of Wallace Stevens' poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a
Blackbird", was given its world premiere in Roanoke, Virginia by the
Kandinsky Trio and soprano Elizabeth Weigle.
Shortly thereafter, the
group performed the piece at the Kennedy Center for the Performing
Arts in Washington, D.C. His latest work, a setting of the Billy Collins
poem “The Night House” for piano trio and soprano received its
premier performance by The Kandinsky trio and Miss Weigle in
December of 2007.
Presently, Mike divides his time between Nashville and New York
City with his wife and their children. He
is currently at work writing songs as well as composing the score for
the musical "Casanova Returns" slated for a workshop in Australia in