Mar 30, 2023

By Andy Johnson

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He was the musician who wrote the lyrics to one of the most popular and most played songs of the second half of the last century.

Keith Reid, Procol Harem’s original lyricist, has died in hospital in London after a battle with colon cancer.

“Whiter Shade of Pale” sold more than 10-million copies after it was released in 1967 and has been covered extensively by other musicians and singers and sung millions of times in karaoke bars..

Reid always disclaimed any psychedelic influence and said that his abstract, melancholy words came from “books, not drugs.”

The music was written to fit the lyrics and was based on themes from Johann Sebastian Bach.

Keith Reid was 76.

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