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After taking a brief time out after the Destinations, I progressed into Reed In His Own Rite. At this time, we did some adventurous things, like working with Mahalia Jackson, the world-famous gospel singer. I had been taken under her wing in a project called “Give a damn.” This was a program she was spearheading that tried to ease the tensions between whites and people of color. We did a show in Chicago with a blockbuster variety of stars, including Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Della Reese, Jerry Butler, Robert Culp, and Mahalia herself. It was truly inspiring to work with entertainers of that caliber. I gave a speech during that performance, right after the song I love you by the People. My talk received a huge round of applause. Many dignitaries were present, including the governor and columnist Irv Kupcinet, who came back stage and praised my presentation.

Yes, Reed In His Own Rite had been born. I started working on my new musical venture with Bruce Robinson, Tom Stewart on drums, and a keyboard player whose name I can’t recall. The band performed diverse styles of music like Cream, Beatles, and other popular songs of the time period. The band moved forward, acquiring a new Hammond B3 keyboard player by the name of Rick Shear. We acquired a home on Downer Avenue in Shorewood, which was actually my grandparents’ winter home. The band was explosive, very tight, and fun to play in. The members of the band–Bruce Robinson, Tom Stewart, Rick Shear, Dick Keskey, and myself–all shared that house together. The arrangement started to work out well, until unfortunately several of the band members ran into serious problems with drugs. A couple of the guys–not I myself--heavily got themselves into the really-nasty stuff. I got scared because the Shorewood police were cruising past the house. My father, you see, had given us the house free of charge, and I felt responsible for what was occurring. It really started to wear on me. At one point, my father said, “Reed we’ve got a problem.” My father and I confronted the two members about our concerns, and of course they remained in total denial. We threatened to shut down the whole operation unless they got clean. The band deteriorated, and tensions escalated to such a degree that while we were performing somewhere in Illinois, one of the members got up and walked off the stage. We went on as a three-piece band and carried on as such for a period of time. That arrangement was short lived.

Reed and the Hardy Boys

My life began to change once again as a result of performing as a solo act on Art Robert’s Swinging Majority show. I had been observed by the folks at Filmation, an animation company, much like Hanabarbara of the Flintstones fame. I was contacted by Norm Prescott and Lou Scheimer of Filmation to be a part of a show called The Hardy Boys, based on the short stories of the best-selling author F.W. Dixon. At that time, Jim Golden and Bill Traut of Dunwich Productions were involved. Their responsibility was to produce the music for the animated show for RCA Records. Interestingly, the engineer who worked with Bill and Jim on these recordings was Brian Christenson. Brian had been the one who worked on the Hello Girl demo that we recorded for Art’s show at Navy Pier.

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