Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Jerry Reed - RIP

Jerry Reed, a notable and beloved part of our fabric that is Americana, passed away on September 1, but he left us one hell of a legacy.
Jerry Reed, 71, a Grammy Award-winning country guitarist, singer and songwriter who played a mischievous, good old boy sidekick to Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit" and other movies, died Sept. 1 at his home in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood. He had emphysema.

Mr. Reed's trademark Georgia baritone drawl and relaxed manner in film and television roles brought his ingratiating presence to a wide audience, notably as trucker Cledus "Snowman" Snow in "Smokey and the Bandit" (1977) and its two sequels.

But it was in country music where Mr. Reed thrived as a major, innovative artist from the late 1960s to early '80s. Besides " East Bound and Down," the theme song for "Smokey and the Bandit," his hit songs included the propulsive " Guitar Man," the Cajun-inspired funky novelty tune " Amos Moses" and the tender " A Thing Called Love." Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Porter Wagoner were among those to cover his best-known pieces.

Mr. Reed was a dynamic virtuoso who had distinguished himself as a session guitarist supporting Presley, Waylon Jennings and others before emerging as a major solo talent. He was most remembered for using an intricate guitar-picking style known as the "claw" because it used the entire right hand where earlier guitar giants such as Chet Atkins and Merle Travis favored a two or three-fingered approach.
- (snip) -
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Priscilla Mitchell Hubbard of Brentwood; two daughters, Charlotte "Lottie" Stewart of Franklin, Tenn., and Seidina Hinesley of Smyrna, Tenn.; and two grandchildren.
There's more on Jerry's accomplishments at Wikipedia.

Here's a little slide-show tribute I put together using his first big hit, "Amos Moses," which reached #8 on the US Pop charts in 1970.

And here's a piece called "Jerry's Breakdown" that he did on live TV in one of his many collaborations with the great Chet Atkins. It's finger-pickin' good!


Blogger Oldcatman said...

Nice tribute to one of my favorites.

Any film with Jerry Reed in it is worth watching.

Thanks for reminding ME of his guitar skills!

2:14 AM GMT+12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OINK sez --
I think of him first as starring with Burt Reynolds in the following movie ...

YOU MAY BE A REDNECK IF -- You've boycotted the Academy Awards ever since they snubbed "Smokey and the Bandit" for best picture.

1:04 PM GMT+12  

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