From Hillary Clinton to Adele, Mike Reid’s Biggest Hit Lives On

February 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm 2 comments

If you caught the opening of Saturday Night Live this weekend, you saw Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush (or, at least, the comedians playing them) trying to woo skeptical voters with renditions of the early ’90s hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” No matter which way you fall on the political spectrum, it was pretty funny stuff:

Of course, most folks watching probably didn’t realize the Penn State connection to a song both Rolling Stone and Mojo magazines rated among the best of all time: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” was written by former Nittany Lion football All-American Mike Reid ’69. The Outland and Maxwell Trophy winner went on to a terrific but relatively brief NFL career before committing to music, where he’s built a quietly stellar career as a songwriter. (ESPN.com caught up with him last year.) And when he does play live, as he did in this clip captured in 2014, he gives his own take on the classic he wrote.

Reid has mostly worked under the radar over the years, but as that SNL sketch reminded us, his most famous song has some serious staying power. In addition to Raitt’s huge hit 25 years ago, “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” has been covered by the likes of George Michael, Boyz II Men, and most recently, Adele.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jo Prostko  |  February 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    I’ll never forget his concert at the Peace Center here in Greenville SC. His voice, his playing, his presence…terrific. Thanks for the article!

  • 2. sherrysauerwine  |  February 15, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Mike Reid was and is a special person. I remember going to see him perform in “Guy and Dolls” on campus back in the late 60’s. He played the role of Big Julie. He was as terrific on stage as he was on the football field. Thanks for posting this video.

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