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