Jerry Reed Dies at 71


Jerry Reed

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 You’re Hot, You’re 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 Reed’s health declined in recent years, he focused on spiritual studies and on bringing attention to veterans’ issues.

"For 50 years, all I’d done was take, take, take," he told The Tennessean’s Tim Ghianni in 2007. "I decided from now on it is going to be giving. And I’m way behind. We’re all way behind. We live this life like what’s down here is what it’s all about. We’re temporary, son, like a wisp of smoke."

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