Brad Paisley, Steve Wariner Recall Jerry Reed


Jerry Reed

Sept. 4, 2008 — Much of the media coverage over the death of Jerry Reed focused on his acting roles — particularly his performance alongside Burt Reynolds in Smokey & The Bandit — but Jerry’s passing this week after a battle with emphysema is felt most by fellow guitar players.

"If you didn't learn some Jerry Reed, your playing suffered," Brad Paisley told The Tennessean. "I know for sure that he changed the way I play. I got to sit down and record with B.B. King for an instrumental album, and a few seconds after I started playing, he said, ‘Oh, you're like Jerry Reed.’ He didn’t mean I’m the equal of Jerry Reed, but Jerry is absolutely the identifiable face for that kind of playing."

Jerry’s work had a rambunctious, playful quality to it, and it’s in evidence on some of his trademark hits, including "When You’re Hot, You’re Hot," "She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)" and the Smokey soundtrack hit "East Bound And Down."

"Jerry Reed Hubbard was one of a kind," Steve Wariner told The Tennessean. "There will never be another like him, that's for sure. Before he ever did his first acting role in a movie, he was already a triple threat. He was a brilliant songwriter, consummate singer/entertainer, and of course, a world-class guitarist. Chet Atkins used to say — and I agree — 'I don't think he even realizes how great he is.’"

In addition to his own hits, Jerry played on such classics as Bobby Bare’s "Detroit City," Waylon Jennings’ "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and Elvis Presley’s "Guitar Man," which Jerry wrote. He also authored Porter Wagoner’s "Misery Loves Company" and Johnny Cash’s "A Thing Called Love."

And Jerry’s influence is still being felt. His song "Another Puff" — recorded in the same 1970 session as "When You’re Hot, You’re Hot" — appeared in the 2006 movie Thank You For Smoking, and "East Bound And Down" got covered on the current Road Hammers album Blood Sweat & Steel.

GAC will air a special episode of Master Series which pays tribute to Jerry. The special premieres Saturday, September 6 at 2:30 p.m. ET; airs again on Sunday, September 7 at 6 p.m. ET; and Monday, September 8 at 9 p.m. ET.