A former defensive tackle for the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals, Mike Reid was one of the most sensitive writers of romantic songs in contemporary country music. He was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania, the son of a railroad worker. Although he was a piano player from age six, Reid's real passion was sports; in 1969 he won the Outland Trophy as the best collegiate defensive lineman in the country. Reid also began to develop his musical talents, playing with local bands and graduating with a degree in music. He was drafted in the first round, and became the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1970.
In addition to playing football, Reid also played music with local bands. While recovering from an injury, he met Larry Gatlin, who encouraged Reid's music and admired his song "Time Runs Away." In the off-season, Reid performed as a classical pianist with symphony orchestras in Dallas, Cincinnati, and Utah. In 1975, after undergoing knee surgery, Reid left football, joined the Apple Butter Band, and began playing Colorado ski resorts. As a songwriter, he was inspired by Leonard Cohen and Randy Newman. One of his songs was recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1978, spurring him to pursue a solo career. He signed to ATV Publishing in 1980 and remained there for a year and a half. After meeting the head of Milsap Music, Rob Galbraith, Reid moved to the label and penned a few songs which appeared on Ronnie Milsap's 1982 album Inside, providing Milsap with a number one single, "Stranger in My House." Sylvia also scored a major hit with one of Reid's songs. He continued as a successful songwriter for other artists as well, including Mark Gray, Marie Osmond, Tanya Tucker, and Conway Twitty, who had a major hit with "Fallin' for You for Years."
Through the '80s, Reid penned 11 number one hits. In 1990, he began his recording career, signing to Columbia and releasing Turning for Home, which contained the number one hit "Walk on Faith." Reid appeared on the charts three more times in 1991 with songs such as "As Simple as That." His most successful year was 1992, when he wrote several number one hits for others, including Collin Raye's "In This Life." ~ Sandra Brennan