Author Archive


The Year 2020!

Written by Don Reid. Posted in General

Okay, it’s the year 2020!  And I have to be honest with you. That sounds like the title of one of those Saturday morning science fiction movies I went to see at the Strand as a kid. I never thought I would see it as a reality but it’s here so let’s deal with it!

Things that are happening with me and with the Statlers as this new chapter begins:

#1 – Looks like the Statler Brothers are back on TV on Saturday nights in primetime on RFD-TV. Check it out. I’ve been hearing from lots of folks who have been watching the reruns for the past couple of weeks. Thanks for still caring and for your loyalty throughout the years. We have always said the Statlers were blessed with the best fans/friends of anyone in the business.

#2 – A new CD of some of my Sunday morning speaking engagements is out and available on the Statler website:  It’s called “Speaking from the Heart, Volume II.” This is something I’ve been doing since we retired and I enjoy every minute of it. Hope you will, too.

#3 – In answer to the question I get all the time (and I’m glad I do), yes, I have a new book coming out. I’ve been working on it for the past two years and it’s called “The Music of the Statler Brothers: An Anthology.” Each chapter covers an album and I write about every song we ever recorded – how we wrote it; why we chose it; how we arranged it; the recording sessions; with lots of side stories about the Brothers and a behind-the-curtain look at forty years of making music on and off the record. Also, there are pages of never-before-seen pictures. Mercer University Press is the publisher and it is currently scheduled for a September 2020 release. I’ll keep everyone up to date as the time gets closer.

 In the meantime, I hope your new year has started off in the right direction and I wish everyone good things and happiness. God’s blessings to you,

                  DSR  1/16/20



Written by Don Reid. Posted in General

Thanksgiving is a state of mind. A meal that many rush through to avoid spending time with family members they don’t particularly care for. A meal that many linger over for hours enjoying spending time with family members they love and wish they saw more than one time a year. A lazy day to gorge on football and turkey. A busy day spent in a hot and crowded kitchen. A happy time making memories and reacquainting with aunts and uncles and cousins. A sad time having memories of days and people gone, missing their faces and their laughter and those old family jokes that live on through the holidays of time.

I could relate to you dozens and dozens of happy times around the family table and I feel blessed knowing I have those wonderful memories to draw from. And thank the good Lord, there was only one Thanksgiving I ever spent away from home. It was rather empty and lonely at the time but it makes me smile now looking back on it.

We, the Statlers, had gone to L.A. to tape the Dean Martin Christmas Special back in the 70s. Freddie Fender, Georgia Engels, Michael Learned, The Gold Diggers and I don’t remember who else and, of course, Dean. We rehearsed and taped all week and then come Thursday, which happened to be Thanksgiving, we had the day off but had to come back on Friday to finish up the week. We were the only east coast guests on the show, and after turning down a number of thoughtful invitations to Thanksgiving dinners, we spent the day at our hotel with not much to do as everything was closed for the holiday. About four o’clock that afternoon, the four of us, Harold, Phil, Lew and myself, talked and decided that even though all our families were 3000 miles away and having turkey and gravy without us, we could at least have dinner together.

Harold, Don, Dean Martin, Lew, Phil

We had been filming down on the beach at Malibu and were staying there to be close to the location, so we jumped into our rental car and rode around, looking for a restaurant. This was the first time I realized just how packed restaurants are on Thanksgiving Day. I had never been anywhere but home on this day and we were shocked to see the crowds. After trying nine or ten and deeming them too crowded, we finally settled on one and took our chances.

I would give anything to remember the name of that eatery as I have racked my brain for decades and had no luck. But it was shoulder-to-shoulder people. Clanging dishes and crying babies and a din of strident noises that never waned. We sat down, ordered, signed autographs, answered a hundred times why we were there, ate our dressing and sweet potatoes and went back to our hotel. We recalled this day many times for years after and I am so glad now that I had it to compare to all the other Thanksgiving days with which I have so richly been blessed. I missed my family. I missed the traditions. But there are so many who miss so much more and do with so much less that I never fail to remember all of them on this very special and quietly religious day. My prayer of grace always includes them and my prayer of thanks never takes anything for granted.

So, wherever you are and whomever you’re with or not with this year, I will say a prayer for you and wish all of God’s good blessings for your health, your comfort and your peace of mind.

May God be with you and everyone you love. Happy Thanksgiving!

DSR  2019