In one of those strange confluences that happen all the time if you stop and pay attention, I seem to be having a bit of a band moment. After stumbling last week across those pictures of the band’s trip to A&M, another piece of Rice’s musical history unexpectedly presented itself this weekend. I was out and about picking up some new glasses when Mr. Rice History Corner pointed out a gentleman wearing a Rice ball cap and asked me whether I knew him. I did not, so I did the only thing I could think of. I went over, introduced myself, and asked him if he were an alum. He smilingly allowed that he was not but that his father had gone to Rice, where he had directed the band. He sure had–his father was Kit Reid, a fine trumpeter who not only led the Rice band but had his own professional outfit during and after his years as a student here in the late ’30s. He played trumpet in the Houston Symphony for many years too.
He was written about a lot. Here are just a couple of pieces to give you a feel for it. First, an article about an early battle of the bands. Note especially on the second page Reid’s summer employment:
And this next one, a 1941 lament upon the news that Reid would soon enter the military, is full of affection for him:
I sure wish I could hear Reid’s “South Main Blues”–I get them sometimes!
Bonus: The kind gentleman I spoke with in the eyeglass store is also named Kit Reid and is also a professional trumpeter. If you need a band, anything from Dixieland to big band to r&b, you can find him here. I’m very grateful to him for taking the time to talk with me on his busy Saturday.
Extra bonus: The beat goes on.