September 2, 2008 According to Nashville newspaper The Tennessean, singer, songwriter, musician and actor Jerry Reed has died. Born Jerry Reed Hubbard, the paper reported that Mr. Reed suffered from emphysema and was in hospice care. He was 71.
Many knew Reed as Burt Reynolds truck-driving sidekick "The Snowman" in the Hollywood trilogy "Smokey and the Bandit." But as The Tennessean noted, he was "already a musical deity to the guitar players who admired the syncopated flurries he unleashed with a casual gleam."
As an artist, he had the No.1 country hits "When Youre Hot, Youre Hot" and "Lord, Mr. Ford, as well as other hit songs recorded by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, Brenda Lee and others. He was also a session guitarist for Presley, Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare and many others. Reed played guitar on a couple of very classic records: Bare's "Detroit City" and Jennings' "Brown Eyed Handsome Man."
Reed's music is still relevant today. His song "East Bound And Down" is covered on the recently released Road Hammers album, and his song "Another Puff," recorded at the same session as "When You're Hot, You're Hot," was featured in the soundtrack to the 2006 movie "Thank You For Smoking."
The paper said that Reeds health declined in recent years, he focused on spiritual studies and on bringing attention to veterans issues.
"For 50 years, all Id done was take, take, take," he told The Tennesseans Tim Ghianni in 2007. "I decided from now on it is going to be giving. And Im way behind. Were all way behind. We live this life like whats down here is what its all about. Were temporary, son, like a wisp of smoke."
For more on Jerry Reed, visit TheTennessean.com.