Jerry Reed RIP

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I don’t have the full time to really post much today but the news that Jerry Reed passed is a bummer:

Jerry Reed, country music’s howling virtuoso and a star of stage, studio and screen, has died. Born Jerry Reed Hubbard, Mr. Reed suffered from emphysema and was in hospice care. He was 71, and he leaves an unparalleled legacy of laughter and song.

By the time Mr. Reed came to popular attention as Burt Reynolds’ truck-driving sidekick “The Snowman” in the Hollywood trilogy Smokey and the Bandit, he was already a musical deity to the guitar players who admired the syncopated flurries he unleashed with a casual gleam. He was also a hit recording artist by that time, having topped the charts with “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” and “Lord, Mr. Ford,’ and having written songs for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Brenda Lee and others. Then there was his work as session guitarist for Presley, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare and many others.

Mr. Reed enjoyed his comedic Hollywood roles (which included a part in the 1998 Adam Sandler film, The Waterboy), and he often smiled when movie fans would ask for an autograph without realizing that he was a singer and guitarist of significance. Music was most important to him, though. Asked by interviewer Frank Goodman which facet of music he preferred – songwriter, solo guitarist, session man or entertainer – Mr. Reed said, “Hey, that’s like trying to pick out your favorite leg.”

“There’s nothing on earth as powerful as music, period,” he told Goodman. “I mean, it’s pretty hard to fight and hate and be angry when you’re making music, isn’t it?”

My memories of him? Well, Smokey and the Bandit as mentioned — end of seventies idiot romps of the best kind (keep in mind I’m still a fan of The Cannonball Run), “She Got the Gold Mine (I Got the Shaft)” on eighties country radio my dad listened to, and appearing on Scooby-Doo:

Rest easy. I’ll be blasting the Squirrels remake of “Amos Moses” tonight when I get the chance.


2 Responses to “Jerry Reed RIP”

  1. Dr. Tom Bibey Says:

    I am a bluegrass guy and we respect the cats who can pick. Jerry Reed was a player.

    Dr. Tom Bibey

  2. Ned Raggett Says:

    Yeah, what’s sometimes missed in the jokey persona is that the man had serious skills, and used them. No surprise he had songwriting chops, but to have solid performing ones is even cooler.

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