Harold Reid has since been a country icon, more particularly a driving force to The Statler Brothers. His comedic talent and humorous act have been one of the quartet’s biggest appeals that led the group to earn nominations and win awards frequently – not only for their singing – but as well as their entertaining acts.
Let’s celebrate a life well-lived with these facts about Harold Reid.
1. He’s a native of Staunton, Virginia.
Born Harold Wilson Reid on August 21, 1939, the country singer started his career in 1955 when he – together with his brother Don Reid and childhood friends Phil Balsley and Lew DeWitt – launched the group called the Four Star Quartet. The act featured a variety of country, pop, and gospel material and gradually evolved into The Statler Brothers, which took its name from a brand of facial tissues.
2. He heavily toured with Johnny Cash.
In the mid-1960s, The Statler Brothers met the country legend, who then asked the quartet to open his show despite never even hearing them play before. With Johnny Cash‘s influence, a record soon followed, and superstardom came knocking at the group’s door.
3. He’s one of the world’s funniest people.
CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum remembers Reid as not only a driving force to The Statler Brothers but someone who made everyone laugh so hard – more particularly with his alter ego, Lester “Roadhog” Moran.
4. He was also an actor.
He appeared in a few films, such as Smokey and the Bandit II and Drive-In.
5. He’s a father of five.
Reid and his wife Brenda were blessed with four daughters and one son.
6. His children followed in his footsteps.
Reid’s son Wil Reid formed a duo with Don Reid’s son Langdon Reid in the 1990s. The two performed under the name Grandstaff and even recorded some of The Statler Brothers’ songs as a tribute to the quartet. Meanwhile, Reid’s daughters Kim and Karmen Reid also enjoyed a brief stint as a country duo in the early 1980s. The two even appeared on one episode of Hee Haw.
7. He has remained in his hometown of Staunton, Virginia.
Just like the other members of The Statler Brothers, Reid never left his hometown throughout their career. He said it wasn’t that they thought living in Nashville would not work for them, “we just didn’t want to leave home.”
After The Statler Brothers retired in 2002, Reid lived quietly on his 85-acre farm in Virginia. “Some days, I sit on my beautiful front porch, here in Staunton, Virginia … some days I literally have to pinch myself. Did that really happen to me, or did I just dream that?” Reid once mused.
He died at his home in 2020 after bravely enduring a long battle with kidney failure.