G'night Jerry Reed (1937-2008)

by alphamonkey on September 2, 2008 · 2 comments

in Music Videos

While Dan LaFontaine might be getting all the press, it was learning that Jerry Reed passed away at the age of 71 last night that really put me on the floor. While best known as The Bandit’s sidekick, Snowman (not to mention a little something called one of the best movie themes of all time), Jerry Reed’s career started at 18, and he’s held the spot of one of country music’s greatest pickers ever since.

Beyond a picking skill that makes me want to smash my fingers in frustration, he had one of my all time favorite country voices. So much so that I would have done near anything to hear a duet between Reed and Levon Helm. If that’s not enough, he proved himself a talent capable of deftly jumping from genre to genre, and he had a way of making every song his own that I’ve long admired.

So g’night, Jerry Reed. Thanks for all those years of astounding musicianship and talent.

With that in mind, please enjoy a little Jerry Reed action courtesy of the Porter Wagoner Show, as he takes on “Wabash Cannonball”:

Or this phenomenal cover of Steve Goodman’s “The City of New Orleans“:

Or sitting down with pickin’ great Chet Atkins in 1992 for a take on “Georgia on My Mind“:

And what kind of man would I be if I left off Amos Moses?

Well, I know what’s going to be playing non-stop in Casa de Mono tonight….

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  • http://www.clayeals.com Clay Eals

    Good to see your heartfelt tribute to the great Jerry Reed and your inclusion of the video of his version of mentioning “City of New Orleans” by Steve Goodman. Goodman often doesn’t get his due. You might be interested in my 800-page biography, “Steve Goodman: Facing the Music.” The book delves deeply into the genesis of “City of New Orleans,” and Arlo Guthrie is a key source among my 1,050 interviewees and even contributed the foreword. Reed’s recorded version is one of more than 75 covers of the song — and one of the best.

    You can find out more at my Internet site (below). Amazingly, the book’s first printing sold out in just eight months, all 5,000 copies, and a second printing of 5,000 is available now. The second printing includes hundreds of little updates and additions, including 30 more photos for a total of 575. It just won a 2008 IPPY (Independent Publishers Association) silver medal for biography: http://www.independentpublisher.com/article.php?page=1231. To order a second-printing copy, see the “online store” page of my site. Just trying to spread word about the book. Feel free to do the same!

    Clay Eals
    1728 California Ave. S.W. #301
    Seattle, WA 98116-1958

    (206) 935-7515
    (206) 484-8008

  • http://www.dadsbigplan.com .alphamonkey.

    You know, I’m gonna let what I would otherwise consider a tasteless and opportunistic self-plug slide, if only out of my deep respect and love for Steve Goodman’s music.

    I will not make a habit of it, however. Note to other well-intentioned, if perhaps decorum-impaired self-promoters: Unless you’re hawking the secret history of Marc Bolan and Iggy Pop’s adventures across the 27th dimension, keep your death-notice selling pitches in check.

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