Kit Reid, ’37: “one of the hottest trumpets in the business”


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.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Kit Reid, ’37: “one of the hottest trumpets in the business”

  1. francis eugene 'gene' pratt The Rice Institute 1956 says:

    Melissa, mi darlin’,
    Try this and see if it’s the correct ditty:

    • francis eugene 'gene' pratt The Rice Institute 1956 says:

      I know it’s NOT the SOUTH Main St. Blues, but it’s the best I could do.
      I could have listened to that in old West Hall before ‘blue book day’, but we had NO radio, record player, or beer, Although Professor Sid B. was brewing some up before it all exploded.
      Sid, how could you?

  2. Lou Ann Montana says:

    What a charming story! Wish I could have been there! Thanks, Melissa.

  3. Pingback: Music and Gall Wasps Under the Trees | Rice History Corner

  4. J. Dagg says:

    Kit Reid – my trumpet teacher while I was still in high school and as I progressed, introduced me into the musician’s union, dance band with Buddy Brock, and even an occasional additional trumpeter with the Houston Symphony under Leopold Strokowski during my college years.One of the finest men I knew and an outstanding teacher.

Leave a Reply to francis eugene 'gene' pratt The Rice Institute 1956Cancel reply