‘You’re The Voice’ Co-Writer Keith Reid of Procol Harum Dead At Age 76 - Noise11.com
Keith Reid

Keith Reid

‘You’re The Voice’ Co-Writer Keith Reid of Procol Harum Dead At Age 76

by Paul Cashmere on March 29, 2023

in News

Keith Reid, a founding member of Procol Harum and lyricist for the band and co-writer of John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’, has died at age 76.

Reid’s best known song was the Procol Harum classic ‘A Whiter Shade of Pale’. Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher used a Bach-melody for the music of the song and all of the words were Keith’s.

The song reached no 1 in the UK and Australia and no 5 in the USA in 1967.

The second Procol Harum single ‘Homburg’, again with Reid lyrics, reached no 6 in the UK, no 5 in Australia and no 34 in the USA.

In 1972, Procol Harum had another hit in Australia with ‘Conquistador’ featuring the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Keith Reid was also a co-writer with Chris Thompson, Andy Qunta and Maggie Ryder of John Farnham’s classic ‘You’re The Voice’.

Keith’s most recent album ‘In My Head’ was released in 2018.

Keith’s friend and collaborator Jon Tiven posted, “R.I.P. Keith Reid. When it came to writing words for songs, he was one-of-a-kind brilliance. When it came to being a friend, I couldn’t ask for a better one. When it came to collaborating, he brought me a lyric that turned into one of my biggest (if not my biggest) songs. Shine On Brightly, genius”.

The Procol Harum website posted:

‘It is with the deepest sadness that we must announce the passing of the lyricist Keith Reid, who died suddenly on 23 March 2023, in hospital in London. He had been receiving cancer treatment for the past couple of years.

‘Keith was the co-founder and lyricist for the band Procol Harum, notably penning their biggest hit A Whiter Shade of Pale, which contains some of the most enigmatic lyrics of all time. He always said that, at the end of his life, he would explain what it all meant: but sadly he didn’t get this opportunity.

‘Keith was also involved in numerous other projects within entertainment, and was a co-writer on what became known as the unofficial Australian anthem You’re the Voice, sung by John Farnham.

‘His family would like to thank numerous well-wishers for their very kind messages. A private funeral will be held, and this page will be updated soon with details for those who would like to make a donation in his memory.

‘Keith will be greatly missed.’

Andy Qunta, who co-wrote ‘You’re The Voice’ with Keith posted:

Very sorry to learn of the passing of my friend and co-writing partner, Keith Reid. Keith was the lyricist for all the Procul Harum songs, including A Whiter Shade Of Pale, which I absolutely loved. It was a dream come true to be able to work with him on several songs, the first of which was John Farnham’s hit “You’re The Voice”, a collaboration with Chris Thompson and Maggie Ryder.
Keith was a lovely guy and a massive talent who will be very much missed. Condolences to Pinkey and the family.

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