Will Hollywood embrace Reed Grimm?Today and Thursday, friends and family will again gather at two spots to see if Reed Grimm will move beyond the Hollywood round of “American Idol.”
By: Margaret Ontl, The Republican Eagle
Today and Thursday, friends and family will again gather at two spots to see if Reed Grimm will move beyond the Hollywood round of “American Idol.”
The 26-year-old’s life was pretty average compared to his older siblings Trey and Jennifer, mother Colleen Raye said. She sat down to share some insights into young Reed’s life.
Born into a family where both his mom and dad, Steve Grimm, were professional singers, Reed appeared on stage with the family act as early as age 2. The performers already included Trey and Jennifer — soon to be joined by Sophie, the youngest daughter.
The family act was called Genetic Energy. Raye, whose energy almost matches that of son Reed, jokes about the fact that she was in labor with all four of her children while performing on stage.
“We were at McGuire’s in St. Paul,” Raye recalled, “when I went into labor with Reed.”
Dr. Eugene Jonas of Ellsworth delivered all four of her children.
“What people don’t realize is that once Reed was 6, we were off the road,” Raye said. That was when the couple separated and eventually divorced.
Raye returned permanently to their home in Hager City.
“Reed and Sophie lived a regular life attending school in Ellsworth. The two older children, Trey and Jennifer, essentially never attended a public school.”
Reed and Sophie attended St. Francis Elementary School, Ellsworth Middle School and both graduated from Ellsworth High School.
“The kids got to know the value of a small town,” Raye said. “It really does take a village to raise kids. By this time their dad was back on the road performing and everyone was so helpful. It is nice for a community to get attention for something positive.”
Once Reed was in school, he started to play piano and taught himself to juggle.
“I got a call from a parent from the school one day, she needed to talk to me,” said Raye, who feared something terrible. The concerned parent shared that Reed had taken her son’s recorder and played it through his nose.
While that early talent for playing a musical instrument in an atypical way was distressing, it was a window into the creativity to come.
“He has the same energy now that he had as a little guy,” Raye said. “He started playing the drums when he was 12. We got him a drum set for his birthday when he was in sixth grade.”
That fit: Reed had idolized the drummer in the family band and loved to sit behind the drums. “He started to learn a little bit about playing them while we were still on the road,” she said.
Reed went on to sing and dance in high school musicals and excel on the drums, especially in jazz band.
Reed attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and graduated with a major in percussion and a minor in philosophy.
Raye has high hopes for his success this week. This is fifth time he has tried out for “American Idol.”
“I said to him, ‘This is your time,’ when he was selected to go to Hollywood,” she said.
Family and friends will gather in River Falls at Junior’s Bar and Grill and Manitou Station in White Bear Lake, Minn., this week to see if Reed continues his journey.
“American Idol” Hollywood segments will air at 7 p.m.