20TH CENTURY: TERRY REID
Hailed as one of the best songwriters of the era by his contemporaries, Terry Reid is a singer, songwriter, session musician and sideman that has performed with an array of well-known musicians throughout his accomplished career. Born November 13th, 1945, the English rock singer and guitarist began his life in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire where he attended the St. Ivo School. After leaving school at 15 he joined Peter Jay's Jaywalkers and in 1966 they were named the support act of The Rolling Stones for their Royal Albert Hall concert.
At that point he struck up a friendship with Graham Nash of The Hollies, who suggested The Jaywalkers sign with Columbia Records UK. Despite the release of the single "The Hand Don't Fit The Glove," the band would disband shortly after that. Following the release of his first solo single "Better By Far," he began a tour of the United States with Cream in 1968, helping to gain a loyal following.
Jimmy Page of The Yardbirds had become interested in his work, and when they disbanded Page wanted Reid to be the vocalist of his new group which was to become Led Zeppelin. Unfortunately for Page, Reid had already committed to two tours with The Rolling Stones and one with Cream. However, he told Page to check out the young Birmingham based musicians Robert Plant and John Bonham. Reid was also offered the vocal spot for Deep Purple but had to decline that as well for the same reason.
After retiring from his solo career in 1981, he did session work for a number of artists including Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and UFO. Reid's music also appears in a number of films including Seed Of Memory, The Devil's Rejects, Up In The Air, and Wonderland. Along with occasional performances, his musical legacy continues with all of the artists who have adopted his material into their own sets including Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, John Mellencamp, Marianne Faithfull, and The Raconteurs just to name a few.