Title: The Folk Singer Cometh

Artist: Bill Reid

Released: 1964

Side One

  1. Goin’ Down Town
  2. Tell Old Bill
  3. St. James Infirmary
  4. Sing Hallelujah
  5. Rain
  6. Make me a Pallet

Side Two


  1. The Ox Driver’s Song
  2. House of the Rising Sun
  3. Hootchie Cootchie Man
  4. Children Go
  5. Greenback Dollar


From the 1964 liner notes:


Bill Reid will tell you, “I seldom learn songs just to please an audience.” But please his audience he does.


Bill – the full handle is William Howard Reid – hails from Big D. . . Dallas, Texas, and he’s hung his hat (or guitar) in cities from Amarillo, Texas, to Bemidi, Minnesota He arrived in the Twin Cities, scene of his current activity, in September of 1963 and has been carving out an impressive name for himself in the area since.


A growing personality in the ever-growing realm of folk music, Bill launched his career with a S5 guitar while working on an Oklahoma City parking lot. Today, he plays to packed houses and boasts both a fine classical guitar and an 18-year-old Martin D-28


Onstage – and I’ve worked with Bill – he has a deceptively quiet approach as he settles down for his performance. His style is honest, direct, and unfrilled. He obviously believes in both his material and himself and as you sample his recorded performance, you’ll agree. Who’s to argue?!


Small wonder then that Folksinger Reid is in steady demand for hootenannies, coffee house dates, and the club appearances, having played in Oklahoma City, Norman, Okla., Omaha, and a wide array of spots in the Twin Cities (Currently the Flamingo Club in St. Paul).


Talent and a solid traditional approach to folksinging are not Bill’s only calling cards. He’s modest and appreciative. Praise him on his rising star and he’ll tell you of the encouragement he’s received from club and coffeehouse owners and from up-and-coming entertainers like Mike Brewer and Bud Davisson “and,” he says, “I’ve had the good fortune to meet and hear such seasoned entertainers as Steve Brainerd, Hoyt Axton, Len Chandler, and Paul Sykes and to observe their material, individual styles, and stagemanship.”


Most of Bill’s arrangements are his own. He sings what he likes and feels like singing. His personal gripe with popular folk music is entertainers who unnecessarily dilute or “water down” the lyrics of songs containing “hell,” “damn,” or other hairy-chested expletives to avoid offending somebody’s Old Aunt Min. Declares Bill, “To me, these songs were written to say something Any change of this kind detracts from the song and often changes the entire tone of the meaning. A beaten migrant worker, for example, would not say ‘my kids are starving, darn it!”


I may upset Bill then, but as your tone arm prowls these entertaining grooves, I think you’ll find Folksinger Reid possesses a darned impressive talent, and produces a heckuva listening experience!

– Bill Diehl – St Paul Dispatch & Pioneer Press – Disc Jockey WDGY