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Nation & World

Dean Reed: The Man Who Rocked the Iron Curtain

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In the '70s and '80s, Dean Reed's albums went gold in the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and parts of Latin America. He made movies and TV specials and played to packed audiences of adoring fans.

In 1986, as glasnost created cracks in the Berlin Wall, Reed drowned in East Berlin, a death that was variously ascribed to the East German secret police, the KGB and the CIA.

Reggie Nadelson is a writer and filmmaker who became obsessed with the life of this Colorado cowboy and traveled to Berlin and Moscow to find out more about him. She helped produce a BBC documentary about Reed, and wrote Comrade Rockstar: The Life and Mystery of Dean Reed, the All-American Boy Who Brought Rock n' Roll to the Soviet Union.

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