DigitalDreamDoor.com

  Custom Search of DDD
 Home
 Music Lists
 Music Forum
 Rock Timeline
 Rap Timeline
 Vinyl Records
 Artist News
 Music Links
 SpotLight
 Foundations
 Musician Finder
 Guitar Chords
 Movie Lists
 Jokes & Quotes
 Music Store
facebook
Ask "Mr. Music"
April 11, 2011
"The mysterious death of teen idol Dean Reed"
Let's continue our feature here at DigitalDreamDoor: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 25th year of syndication (1986-2011), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on.

Be sure to stop by Jerry's site www.jerryosborne.com for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.

songsMore Mr. Music Articles

Ask "Mr. Music"
"Jerry Osborne"
April 11, 2011 - "The mysterious death of teen idol Dean Reed"


DEAR JERRY:

In the early 1960s, most of my girl friends were crazy about Ricky, Frankie, and Fabian. But, the teen idol I adored most was Dean Reed. He resembled a young Robert Redford.

Dean didn't have nearly as many hits in America as the others, but he did appear on several Bandstand-type TV shows.

Then he just vanished, and I've never heard a thing about him since.

Plus, we never hear any of his songs on the radio, especially "The Search," "Our Summer Romance," and "I Wonder."

Any idea what happened to Dean Reed?

- Clarice Hoover, Racine, Wisc.


DEAR CLARICE:

Sorta. Kinda. Maybe.

I am sure of one thing. The correct title of the beautiful ballad you mention is "No Wonder."

We know Dean picked up the acting bug in 1960 when cast as himself in "Bentley and the Majorette," an episode of Bachelor Father.

By 1985, Reed had more than two dozen films to his credit, though you probably would not recognize a single title. None were made or even distributed in the U.S.

The astonishing popularity of "Our Summer Romance" in South America in the '60s prompted him to tour there, especially in Chile and Argentina.

He liked the area so much he settled down for a few years in Buenos Aires.

In 1966, Dean jumped the Atlantic, and found his popularity in Europe even greater than in South America.

After touring in dozens of European countries, on both sides of the Berlin Wall, Reed chose Soviet-controlled East Berlin for his permanent home. For the next 20 years, he was often described as the most famous American in that part of the world.

Dean was an admitted follower of Marxism, but some Americans confused his ideology with Communism, and that is a label he categorically refused.

In a 1985 interview he offered this brief explanation:

"Marxism is about each of us helping other human beings. We should give of our love and our resources to help others. That is what a Marxist believes. There's nothing that divides Marxists from Christians. There's much more that unites us than divides us.

"Not all Communists are Marxists, and not all Marxists are Communists."

In the spring of 1986, Mike Wallace interviewed Reed for a segment on CBS-TV's 60 Minutes. Some of Dean's comments enraged American viewers. Others irritated the Soviets.

Within weeks (June 13, 1986), Dean Cyril Reed's body was found in an East Berlin lake near his home.

What really happened to Dean? An accidental drowning? Suicide? Homicide? Each of these theories is held by one group or another.

Even Reed's family is uncertain, as explained in this letter I received a few years ago from his older brother:



DEAR JERRY:

As Dean Reed's brother, I spend a lot of my time correcting incorrect information about him, especially online. And those are just sites in English. Most are either German or Russian, neither of which I understand.

Not that even I know all that much. Though Dean and I were only three years apart in age, we went our separate ways. We did meet every few years and exchanged many letters (no e-mail in those days). We were different in almost everything, especially economics and politics.

Our dad used to tell his three boys about people that "lived fast, died young, and left a beautiful memory." Well, that was Dean. It is the beautiful memory part I am trying to ensure for him by spreading the truth about him. Though not perfect, he was instrumental in causing the fall of the East German Wall and that is more than most of us accomplish.

For sure he did not throw away his precious American citizenship. He was preparing to return home to Colorado but he must have crossed the Stasi (German Secret Police), the CIA, his wife, or someone. Maybe he fulfilled his purpose in life and decided to call it quits.

Even I do not know how Dean died, but I hope one day to learn the answer.

- Dale Reed, Seattle




IZ ZAT SO?

Before the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989) and German unification of the East and West sectors (1990), entering East Berlin could be a cultural shock.

Phil Everly, of the Everly Brothers, recalls arriving to do a concert with Dean Reed:

"It was very depressing. It had me scared when I got off the plane. There was a corrugated steel building, with an armed guard, and all of that. Fortunately I saw Dean waiting for me on the other side."

"Dean was so popular and well-known that the treatment, once you got in there, was phenomenal. Actually, I was scared until I saw him, and I told him that."

"My hotel had a total of only two televisions, but Dean got one of them for me. I picked up a West Berlin channel and watched "Bonanza," dubbed in German. But it was still something American, and I loved it."

"Politically, Dean and I were far apart. Still, I respected Dean and his views. He had political views that he lived up to."

MORE: Ask "Mr. Music" -
"Overused song titles and comical oldies"
"The mysterious death of teen idol Dean Reed"
"Manhattan by Dinah Washington - Got a Match? by the Daddy-O's"
"Katherine Hepburn Speaking for Freedom 78 rpm"
"The Ballad of Ronnie - and Mildred Bailey"
"Osmonds and Jacksons - I'll Cry Instead: Beatles"
"Frim Fram Sauce, and the Beatles Maggie Mae"
"Quadraphonic albums"
"George Michael's soul success with "Faith"
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"
"A Bunch of Queers Presents Warlock"
"Has there ever been a commercial 78 rpm recorded in stereo?"
"River Nile" by "LEROY and His Rockin' Fellers"
Patsy Montana's "I Wanna Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"
"Diana Krall song & Susan Boyles' career"
"Songs: Just for a Thrill, and Cool Yule"
"Number 1 Christmas Songs through the years"
"Song in VW commercial, and Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas song"
"Shake, Rattle and Roll", plus Pete Best album "Haymans Green"
"Single releases originally issued with picture sleeves"
"Ronnie Dawson - Hazel"
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
"Who was the Masked Marvel"
"Davy Jones Presents, record label"
"Al Green & Johnny Nash"
"Tamouré, Tahitian dance"
"Jo Ann Campbell - Wolverton Mountain"
"Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On & Highway Man"
"Hawaiian musics Frank Ferera"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders instrumentals & Song from Hair"
"Beatles 14 tunes in the Top 100, & The last mono-only albums"
"Connie Francis early years, and Names of states in hit titles"
"Gene Pitney, and David Janssen"
"Payola scandals, and Chubby Checker dance hits"
"Why vinyl sounds richer, Elvis and Beatles on Cash Box, Big Bad John answer songs"
"Vinyl Record Day - 'Mad Men' song"
"Cast Your Fate to the Wind, two versions"
"RFD Songs" and "Your Hit Parade"
"Hit Songs as both Vocal and Instrumental"
"Robert David Hall of CSI, plus the Belmonts without Dion"
"Cal Stewart's Uncle Josh Songs, & Andrews Sisters"
"The Collector's Edition T.A.M.I. Show"
"The Girl from the Next Farm Over" & "Tangerine Dream"
"Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"
"'50s Rockers Ages" - "Songwriters Hall of Fame"
"Lyrics or Music" and "Billy Squier"
"Connie Francis, Neil Diamond, and David Gates"
"The High Numbers and Grading Vinyl"
"Louie Louie"
"Willie Nelson duets"
"Don't Do It" by "Little Charlie and the Nightcats"
"Frank Sinatra Spectacular, with Johnny Carson"
"Sam & Dave Medley" and the knife in "Moody River"
"Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Same Old Fool"
"Tony Orlando or Bertell Dache?"
"Foreign language hit songs in the U.S."
"The Overlanders" and "All-male Top 10"
"Songs with a bullet" and the name "Browning"
"Yesterday and Today, Beatles - Song: Submarine Race"
"Elvis Presley songs based on classical pieces."
"Introducing the Beatles" album value
"Answer Songs"
"Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" & "I Belong to You" by Peggy Lee
"A Lovers Hymn" and Songs naming the 12 months
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
"The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"
"Deana Martin", "Buchanan and Goodman"
"A Hard Day's Night" - Beatles
"British Christmas tunes" and "Fingertips Part 1"
"Backward tape technology" and "Rock Era Christmas tunes"
"Red Velvet Slippers" and "A Christmas Gift for You"
"Jerry Lee Lewis" and "See See Rider"
"Bonanza Theme Song"
"Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods

Mr. Music
Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here.

Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
E-mail: jpo@olympus.net
Visit his Web site: www.jerryosborne.com.

All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2011 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission






1000 Songs Every Rock Fan Should Know
500 Greatest Popular Recordings Of All Time
Greatest Rock Songs
Greatest Rock Ballads
Greatest Rock Anthems
Greatest Rock Instrumentals
Greatest Rock Debut Singles
Greatest Cover Songs
Top 10 Songs by Popular Rock Artists
Top 10 Songs 1950-1969
Top 10 Songs 1970-1979
Top 10 Songs 1980-1989
Top 10 Songs 1990-1999
Greatest 'Roots of Rock' Songs '40s  
Greatest Rock Songs '50s
Greatest Rock Songs '60s
Greatest Rock Songs '70s
Greatest Rock Songs '80s
Greatest Rock Songs '90s
Greatest Rock Songs '00s
Greatest Rockabilly Songs
Greatest Girl Group Songs
Greatest Country Rock Songs
Greatest Southern Rock Songs
Greatest Folk Rock Songs
Greatest Surf Rock Songs
Greatest Beach Music Songs
Greatest Psychedelic Songs
Greatest Punk Rock Songs
Greatest New Wave Songs
Greatest Fusion Songs
Greatest Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals
Greatest R&B/Soul Songs
Greatest R&B/Soul Ballads
Greatest R&B Songs of the '90s
Greatest R&B Ballads of the '90s
Greatest Funk Songs
Greatest Motown Songs
Greatest Northern Soul Songs
Greatest Uptempo Doo-Wop Songs
Greatest Doo-Wop Ballads
Greatest Rap/Hip-Hop Songs
Greatest Old School Hip Hop Records
Greatest Metal Songs
Greatest Thrash Metal Songs
Greatest Glam Metal Songs
Greatest Symphonic Power Metal Songs
Greatest Disco Songs
Greatest Dance Songs '80s
Greatest Dance Songs '90s
Greatest Trance Songs
Greatest Electro Songs
Greatest Freestyle Songs
Greatest House Songs
Greatest Miami Bass Songs
Greatest Latin Rock Songs
Greatest Reggae Songs
Greatest Blues Instrumentals
Greatest Novelty Songs
Wildest, Craziest & Quirkiest Songs
Greatest Summer Songs
Greatest Love Songs
Greatest Mother Songs
Greatest Father Songs
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
1957
1958
1959
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
- - For Links to - -
Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk, Classical, and more,
Click
'Main Music Page' below.


DigitalDreamDoor.com is to be used for
entertainment, educational, or research purposes only.

Copyright © 2011 - DigitalDreamDoor.com

All photos are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes only.
This Ask "Mr. Music" page is only a part of DigitalDreamDoor.com. To view the Home page click
DigitalDreamDoor.com Home