Jerry Reed, a singer who became a good ol' boy actor in
car chase movies such as,
Smokey and the Bandit, died of complications from emphysema on September
2nd, 2008 at the age of 71.
Some 28 years after he first blazed a trail across the American
consciousness with the hit single, "Amos Moses,"
guitarist/singer Jerry Reed released his first true music album in
more than ten years with "Pickin'," the appropriately titled Southern
Tracks Records release which showcased his remarkable multi-instrumental talents. Added to
all this musicality is a healthy dose of Reed's trademark good ol' boy humor, which makes
"Pickin'" a delight on several levels.
Born Jerry Reed Hubbard in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1937, he got his first
guitar as a present from his mother, who also taught him a few chords. "She bought me
this guitar for seven dollars from a guy across the street, and I didn't have any picks so
I used nickels," remembers Jerry. "I really never took lessons. I learned how to
play by hanging out at clubs, watching other players, stealing their licks and practicing
16 hours a day."
In 1954, Reed was discovered by Atlanta music legend Bill Lowery, who
would eventually publish many of Jerry's early songs. During a two-year Army hitch
(1959-61), two songs he had already written became hits. The first of these was "That's
All You Gotta Do," which hit number five on the pop charts for Brenda Lee as
the flip of the number one hit, "I'm Sorry." The second was
"Misery Loves Company," which stayed at number one on the
country charts for 39 weeks as recorded by Porter Wagoner.
In 1966, Reed's efforts bore fruit again with "Guitar Man,"
which reached number 55 on the country charts. Later came "Amos Moses,"
which charted high on both the pop and country charts. Soon, Elvis was asking him to play
guitar on the sessions for Presley's cover of "Guitar Man" and another
Reed-penned song, "U.S. Male."
Reed was voted Musician of the Year by the Country
Music Association in 1970 and 1971. In 1970, he won a Grammy for
"Me and Jerry," his first duet album with Chet
Atkins. Musicians from all over the world would try to copy his incredible country
finger-style of guitar playing, which often included playing rhythm and lead
During a career that spanned over 40 years, which saw him
receive accolades as a musician, songwriter, performer and actor, Jerry Reed
maintained that good ol' boy demeanor which allowed him to be as at home in the
studio, on the stage or on the set, as he was fishing for bass in his favorite lake. "When
You're Hot, You're Hot" never looked so cool!
Awards include --
- Grammy - Best Country Instrumental Performance 1993
- CMA Musician of the Year 1971
- Grammy - Best Country Instrumental Performance 1971
- Grammy - Best Male Country Vocal Performance 1971
- CMA Musician of the Year 1970
Hit songs include --
- Lord, Mr. Ford
- She Got the Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)
- When You're Hot, You're Hot
- (I'm Just A) Redneck in a Rock & Roll Bar
- East Bound And Down
- The Bird
- Amos Moses
- I Love You, What Can I Say
- Are You From Dixie (Cause I'm From Dixie Too)
- Ko-Ko Joe
- Sugar Foot Rag
- A Good Woman's Love
- Down On The Corner
- The Crude Oil Blues
- Talk About The Good Times
- Tupelo Mississippi Flash
- Georgia Sunshine
- The Preacher and The Bear
- Let's Sing Our Song
- You Took All The Ramblin' Out Of Me
- There's Better Things In Life
Jerry Reed will be missed. Remember him
through his music.
For booking information
about country artists,
Genre --. Country
50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s
Born: in Georgia
Mar 20, 1937