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Remembering Herb Reed

A former Arlington reporter reminisces about his short, wonderful conversation with doo-wop legend Herb Reed.

Arlington lost one of its great adopted sons when Herb Reed passed away Monday in a Boston hospice. 

I interviewed Herb Reed about 10 years ago while writing for the Arlington Advocate. Reed was set to perform at Arlington Town Day that year, and we thought residents would love to know more about the doo-wop star in their midst. 

We didn't talk for long, maybe 15 minutes over the phone, but I still remember the interview. Reed was generous with his time, happy to talk and just in love with Arlington. I asked him why he decided on Arlington of all places to settle, and he responded without missing a beat:

"Man, this town is the craziest."

I smiled for about an hour after that. I'm smiling now just thinking about it. 

We ran the article and people seemed to love it. My editor, , made a point of getting Reed's promo pic back from the production team. It was a shot of Reed in a blue sequin jacket, standing, arms spread, in front of a wall of gold records. In that way, Herb became a part of our office for years after the interview. Sadly, the physical copy of that picture is gone, though it lives on in some corners of the Internet.

My 15 minutes with Herb Reed was so memorable because it was 15 minutes spent with a genuine, earnest man who was grateful for his success and for the love his adopted home had shown him through the years. He will be missed in Arlington and beyond.

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