Anyone who has read many previous posts, and God bless you if you have, knows I have an interest in guitars(The tale of the traveling guitar salesman) and in interesting people with unexpected attributes (The Red Menace, Hello dere) Well, recently I came across a story that had both.
Old timers like myself may remember actor and country singer Jerry Reed. He starred with Burt Reynolsa in Smokey and the Bandit and other cinema classics, and sang the theme song for the movie and such ditties as When you’re hot, you’re Hot. Reed was always the fast drawling good old boy hillbilly type, but was a creative songwriter and guitar player. . Now many country singers can scrape by on the guitar, and a few are pretty good, but Jerry Reed was a virtuoso. Entirely self taught, he collaborated with Elvis, Glenn Campbell and other big names.How good was he? Elvis hired him to play on one of his records because his usual guitar players couldn’t duplicate Reed’s sound. On one collaboration with Chet Atkins, Reed helped Atkins figure out one of his finger pickings on his song Yakety Axe. Atkins himself said that Reed was the better player and named him one of the four best in the world. Reed also recorded several songs in a talking style that was a precursor of rap. Here’s one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rdF7o08KXw
And here is a sample of his guitar playing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBvhY4uqGDE
Reed died in 2008. When you’re hot, you’re hot.