Statler Brothers vocalist Harold Reid dies of kidney failure at age 80

Some sad news came for fans of country music this week.

Breitbart reports that Harold Reid, bass singer for the Grammy-winning Statler Brothers, has died of kidney failure at the age of 80.

Harold Reid’s passing confirmed

The death was confirmed on the Statler Brothers’ website, where it was revealed that Reid had long suffered from kidney failure.

“HAROLD REID of The Statler Brothers passed away April 24, 2020,” a caption on a photo of Reid on the site stated. “He had bravely endured a long battle with kidney failure.”

It continued: “He is and will always be loved by his family, friends and millions of fans. His singing, his songwriting and his comedy made generations happy. He has taken a piece of our hearts with him.”

According to Ried’s nephew, Debo Reid, the singer passed at his home in Staunton, Virginia.

Leaves long musical legacy

According to Fox News, Reid’s music career dates back to 1948, when he and three childhood friends, Lew DeWitt, Phil Balsley, and Joe McDorman, came together to form a group called the Four-Stars Quartet. At that time, the group performed mainly gospel music.

As time went on, the group changed its name to the Kingsmen, but again changed it to the Statler Brothers after they realized that there were too many groups out there that referred to themselves as the Kingsmen. According to Lew Dewitt, the name was derived from a brand name of boxed tissues.

In the 1960s, the Statler Brothers met Johnny Cash, and that is when they switched to country music, frequently singing as a backup for the world-renowned industry legend. They became known for such hits as “Flowers on the Wall” and “Bed of Rose’s,” according to Billboard.

During a career that spanned several decades, the Statler Brothers won three Grammy Awards. Also, on nine separate occasions, they were recognized by the Country Music Association as top vocal group. Reid, for his own part, was inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, Billboard added.

Although Reid is mostly remembered for his singing, he also was a comedian.

As his nephew Debo put it: “He leaves a large and loving family and millions of fans who remember his stage and TV antics with smiles and cherish his music that will live with the ages.”

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