About The Artist
Everett Stanley (Eddie) Reed was born in September of 1906.
Eddie lived a most exciting and colorful life. He started out as a piano player but switched to guitar after hearing Jimmie Rodgers and went on to become the most popular personality on radio in the state of Connecticut. He performed on radio during its heyday in the 1920's and 1930's. In the early 1940's, he began broadcasting his show over WTIC, a 50,000 watt station that gained him fame all over New England.
After leaving WTIC in the mid 1940's, he moved to WGHO in Cleveland, Ohio, then came back to Connecticut with a show over WLCR in Torrington. He then moved to WTHT where he was on the air for several years. His last radio station was WHAY in New Britain, where he would make his last broadcast in 1951.
He composed several songs which he recorded on Empire Records of New York. Some of his most noted recordings ere "The Burglar Man", "Footprints in the Snow" (several years before Bill Monroe's version), "The Cat Came Back", "Old Shep", "My Blue Eyed Girl" (an original composition) and "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold". One is more notable compositions was "In The Heart Of A Fool."
He had little use for the musicians union claiming it was the demise of the singing cowboy on the radio. "There was never any money to be made in radio for the cowboy singer," Reed claimed, "the money was made from personal appearances and when the union demanded we be paid for our services, radio stopped giving us air time."
He was close friends with Nick Kenny, the noted newspaper columnist and composer, who offered Reed the first crack at "Love Letters In The Sand." But Eddie rejected it, something he would\ regret in later years of his life. "I guess I should have learned to like that song," he often said,. Other friends of Reed were the noted movie actor John Garfield and the featherweight champion, Willie Pep.
Reed was also a roping expert and could do several difficult rope tricks. One was spinning a forty foot loop, and another was spinning two ropes at the same time. His routine was much like that of Will Rodgers. Doing rope tricks and telling jokes. He possessed a great sense of humor and loved making people laugh.
As part of the WPA program, he was sent to North Dakota to teach cowboys how to handle a rope. It was here he was given the nickname, "The Fargo Kid," not so much for his roping ability but more so for his skill at the pool table. He once ran twenty two tables without missing a shot. Experts said he had complete control over the cue ball. "There are no hard shots if you have control of the cue ball," he would explain.
He was also a trick motorcyclist who often performed at Riverside Park (now Six Flags) until he lost his leg in an accident at the age of 26. He never rode again.
At the age of 50, he was diagnosed with emphysema, but kept on performing at local night clubs until he could hardly breathe. He decided to give up performing and spent some of his last days with his good friend Bill Flagg. "Reed was alone by this time and he usually spent holidays with my family," Flagg said. "When he died there was no one at his funeral except his brother, his ex-wife, Mary (Flagg) and myself (Bill Flagg), though his wake was attended by many musicians throughout the state. The public seemed to have forgotten the once most popular radio personality of Connecticut."
Credits & Sources
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