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Memories of Jerry Reed

Posted: Sep 02, 2008

Sadly, we have lost another old friend of GRITZ. Country music star, songwriter and actor Jerry Reed died on August 31, 2008 at the age of 71 of complications from emphysema.

I first discovered Reed as a teenager when I was dreaming of being the next superstar disc jockey. I listened to records all the time and became a huge fan of Jerry via his hits like “Amos Moses,” “A Thing Called Love,” “When You’re Hot You’re Hot,” and “Alabama Wild Man.”

I used to watch him every time he popped up on Hee Haw, Austin City Limits and other shows. Then in 1977, his star went super nova with Smokey and The Bandit the same summer I worked at the drive in theater as a projectionist. Half the summer was Star Wars, the other half of the summer was Smokey. I loved the movie, especially Jerry Reed and his dog Fred.

It was later I discovered what an amazing guitarist Jerry was.

In 2005, I jumped at the chance to interview Reed for GRITZ. We had a great time talking, and the next day he called me back and we talked about music. We spoke four or five times after that, the last time being early 2007.

Jerry Reed was a great guy, and funny as hell. He kept me laughing the whole time we talked. It’s hard to believe he’s gone. I for one, will never forget him. The Alabama Wild Man.

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.

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copperhead says...

Loved the guy. Even when I was playing loud and rocking the clubs. I was a secret Reed fan. He was great, funny and seemed so down to earth. another freebird gone

rebyll says...

I don't think a lot of people knew just how very talented Jerry Reed really was. Not only was he the "Guitar Man", he was a good singer and songwriter (Not to mention a Grammy Winner). Hell I will even go as far as to say he was a good actor. He was no Brando or Nicholson, but he sure could always make me laugh, in word and in song. He always seemed to me to be someone you would just feel comfortable hanging out with. So long Reed.... God Speed... I relistened to "The Essential Jerry Reed" today and if you have "Smell The Flowers" I guess that would be his post here to us today. Go find the song.....

tennesseewaltz says...

I was really shocked to hear of Reeds death. He was one of the best. I had somehow missed your interview, but reading it today, I had to laugh, just thinking of the funny songs and movie roles Jerry did. Another Old Dog gone. We'll miss him.

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