November 13

When Country Music Bid Farewell to Jerry Reed

Do you still recall the amazing and musically gifted country singer, songwriter, guitarist, and actor Jerry Reed? Today, November 10, marks his 8th death anniversary.

Born Jerry Reed Hubbard on March 20, 1937, in Atlanta, Georgia, Reed had always known his ultimate goal in life even as a child. As a young little lad, he would often run around while he strummed his guitar and claim that he was going to be a star. True enough, when he was finally old enough to pursue his dream career, he soon gained a huge following of fans through his most memorable hits, A Thing Called Love, Guitar Man, Alabama Wild Man, Amos Moses, U.S. Male, and When You’re Hot, You’re Hot.

Reed also had a rough early life due to his parents’ separation. Together with his sister, they had to shift from orphanages and foster homes to another just to get by, before they finally reunited with their mother in 1944. Although he did not have a stable home life, Jerry Reed continued to hone his skills in music. By the time he reached high school, he was already writing his own songs and singing majestically. Finally, his hard work paid off after he was signed by Bill Lowery, a record producer, and publisher. Reed was only 18 years old then.

His first-ever recorded song was titled If the Good Lord’s Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise. He was then signed in 1958 to National Recording Corporation by Lowery, where Reed recorded both a member of the staff band and a solo artist.

The first big break for Jerry was when he reached the Roar and Cashbox Country chart (Bubbling Under the Top 100) with his song, Soldier’s Joy. From there, came a string of successful singles and albums for the late artist. He also won the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance (1972) for When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, bagged the CMA Instrumentalist of the Year for two consecutive years (1970 and 1971), Best Country Instrumental Performance (1971) for Me & Jerry, and Best Country Instrumental Performance (1993) for Sneakin’ Around. He was announced as one of the inductees on April 5 of this year for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Furthermore, Reed’s acting skills led him to land several films and TV shows such as Smokey and the Bandit, Alice, Hot Stoff, Concrete Cowboys, Smokey and the Bandit II, The New Scooby-Doo Movies, The Survivors, Stroker Ace, Dolly, B.L. Stryker, Evening Shade, and The Waterboy.

Sadly Jerry Reed left the world of music and entertainment for good after he died from physical complications due to emphysema. He was 71.

Jerry Reed was such an exceptional act in country music during the prime of his career, and it was both an honor and joy to have witnessed his amazing development and success as a multi-talented performer.


guitarists, Jerry Reed, Soldier's Joy, songwriters

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