Harold Reid, founding member and bass singer of the Statler Brothers, died on April 24. He was 80.
"He had bravely endured a long battle with kidney failure. He is and will always be loved by his family, friends and millions of fans," the band wrote in a statement released on their website. "His singing, his songwriting and his comedy made generations happy. He has taken a piece of our hearts with him."
Reid, his brother Don Reid, Lew DeWitt, and Phil Basley formed the Statler Brothers in 1955 and were originally a gospel band. They switched to country and kicked off their career in the '60s after touring with Johnny Cash and singing backup for him. Among their greatest hits included "Flowers of the Wall," "Bed of Roses" and "Do You Know You Are My Sunshine?"
Over their course of their career, they won three GRAMMY Awards and recorded over 50 albums before retiring from concerts and tours in 2002. The band also hosted their own variety show, The Statler Brothers Show, which ran for seven seasons from 1991 to 1998. Reid and his bandmates were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
"Harold Reid was a driving force in one of country music’s greatest quartets, the Statler Brothers. He helped steer the group to stupendous successes, and his stirring bass was the underpinning of dozens of classic hits," said Kyle Young, CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. "He was also a tremendous entertainer, and one of the world’s funniest people. For decades, he made us laugh and made us cry. As his alter ego, Lester 'Roadhog' Moran, would say, his contributions were 'mighty fine.' We mourn his loss while we celebrate a life well-lived."
Following the news of his death, fans and friends took to social media to share their condolences.
STATLER BROTHER legend HAROLD REID has passed ... This is devestating news ... God bless his family during this time of immeasurable loss ... so very sad to lose yet another long time friend and hero ... REST EASY HAROLD ... another bass singer in the choir ... #haroldreidpic.twitter.com/Y89cJMmivd
We are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Harold Reid, who sang bass in the Country Music band The Statler Brothers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/wHGKNJtq5f
Feeling the loss of #HaroldReid. I met them after a show, was in line rehearsing what I would say when I got to Harold. At the crucial moment he took my hand I said, "Hi my Mary's name." Without missing a beat he responded, "Well hey Name my Mary's Harold."