March 22

The Story and Journey of the “Guitar Man” by Elvis Presley

“Guitar Man” by Elvis Presley

Being able to entertain people with music is hard. For others, they have been born into the business. Yet for some, they were noticed by someone already in the business. The struggles of obtaining a music career can be a long road. It will definitely test your faith, not only in yourself but also your faith in what you are trying to accomplish.

Musicians’ best music comes from their struggles and life experiences that they have overcome. The best way to share those experiences is through a song. One good example for this is the song “Guitar Man”.

“Guitar Man” is a 1967 song written by Jerry Reed. Reed’s version makes him take the 53rd spot on the country music charts the same year.

About the song

Some risk everything just to do what they love, which the “Guitar Man” did. The story begins when he left everything home to find a job as a “Guitar Man”. He traveled a lot and he even became a hobo just to do what he loves—“Guitar Man”.  With those travels, no one wanted to hire him.

Well, I thought my pickin’ would set ’em on fire

But nobody wanted to hire a guitar man

Finally, in Big Jack’s Place, Alabama, he found a job and became the center of attraction.

Soon after Reed’s single appeared, Elvis Presley recorded the song with Reed playing the guitar part. This cover became a minor country and pop hit. According to Peter Guralnick in his two-volume biography of Presley, the singer had been trying unsuccessfully to record the tune. Also, he was not happy with the groove. Guralnick shared that The Kings said something to the effect of: “Get me that redneck picker who’s on the original tune”. Soon, his staff brought Reed into the studio. On the first take, he nailed it right on. The single spent one week at number one on the country chart.

Are you a fan of Elvis Presley? Share your thoughts and experiences about the artist or the song below.  We are looking forward to hearing from you.


Elvis Presley, guitar man

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