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Who Is Don Reid? Don Reid is one of the founders of the Statler Brothers, a country and gospel singing quartet. The group, also simply called The Statlers, consisted of Don singing lead, his older brother Harold Reid on bass, Phil Balsley sings baritone and Lew DeWitt on tenor.
Don is one of the original members of the STATLER BROTHERS, the most award-winning act in the history of country music. He and his brother and two friends started singing in their hometown of Staunton, Virginia when Don was just fourteen years old. They worked throughout their homes and in the neighboring states as a part-time group and were discovered by Johnny Cash in 1964 and got their first record contract. By the time Don was 20 years old, the STATLERS had their first big, global hit record with FLOWERS ON THE WALL, which produced a series of hits that yielded a career in the music industry that lasted four decades. The STATLERS have been distinguished several times in the industry:
3 Grammy Awards
9 CMA Awards
48 Music City / TNN Awards
13 gold albums
8 platinum albums
Debbie and our little demon, Lucy Debbie and our little demon, Lucy
Don was the lead writer of the group and wrote most of the songs himself or wrote with brother Harold. Don has had more than 250 of his songs recorded by not only the STATLERS, but also by Johnny Cash, George Burns, Tammy Wynette, The Cathedrals and Elvis Presley to name but a few. He personally won 18 BMI Writer Awards. These are given each year for the most played songs on the radio. Many of Don’s songs were top ten and number one records, “I’m going to my grave, love you,” “Class of “57,” “You know you’re my sunshine” and more.
For the next thirty-eight years, the Statlers continued to dominate the concert circuit with sold-out houses. In the 1990s, the STATLERS organized a music variations show on TNN for seven years. This series was produced by the BROTHERS and each episode is written by Don and Harold. The Reid brothers also wrote another television series called YESTERYEAR and numerous television specials during the same period.
It wasn’t until the STATLER BROTHERS stopped traveling in 2002 that Don took his writing career to another level. With songwriting and scriptwriting under his belt, the next obvious step was writing a book. And that book was the Scripture-based HEROES AND BIBLE LEGISLATION published by The New Leaf Press in June 2002.
It tells the story of eight main characters in the Bible: Abraham, Joseph, Gideon, Samson, Ruth, Elijah, Esther and John the Baptist. Written in everyday language, it touches on the flaws and glory of these old heroes with problems and defects with which we can all identify today. It’s written with humor and precision and has not only been an education and entertainment for those who have read it, but it has been used across the country as Sunday school materials and Bible study courses in churches of almost every denomination.
Don’s second book, SUNDAY MORNING MEMORIES, is far from the second part everyone expected. It is a book with virtual memories of a boy growing up in a Southern Protestant church. It is humorous and nostalgic because it gives a warm and funny look at all the ecclesiastical activities we grew up with. New song books and the turmoil they cause. C & E Christians and how they only fill the pews on holidays. Holiday Bible School. Sunday movies and softball games at the church.
His third book, YOU KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS WHEN…, was written with both sons, Langdon Reid and Debo Reid, and is a colorful collection of holiday thoughts and memories, fun quizzes for all ages, short stories and poems. The perfect coffee table book for the Christmas period.
Don worked with brother Harold on writing book number four. Everything about the career of the Statler Brothers is called RANDOM MEMORIES. It’s a collection of their memories of a 40-year profession that brought them to spiritual highs and lows that they first share with the public. It also contains an unprecedented forty-eight pages of never-before-published photos. They explore the stories behind the many songs they have written and reveal the personal relationships they had with some of the most famous figures they have known in the field of entertainment and politics.
In 2008, a dream came true for Don when he published his first novel. After years of songwriting, he had always wanted to try out fiction. O LITTLE TOWN is a story set in 1958 in a small Virginia town at Christmas. It is about a group of families and how their lives are intertwined and become entangled and touched by God. It is called a mystery, an inspiring novel and a historical novel. You’ll find the category for yourself when you read the book published by David C Cook.
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