Thursday, September 4, 2008

R.I.P. Jerry Reed: 1937-2008

I was a huge fan of Jerry Reed, but not necessarily for his music first. You may have forgotten that Jerry played Cledus "Snowman" Snow in the amazing Smokey and the Bandit movies. That movie came out when I was but a wee bairn and I have seen it a million times since. I actually just bought the anniversary edition on Ebay to commemorate his passing. I give all props to Burt and Sally, but they couldn't have done it without Jerry.

Burt and Jerry were pretty tight. Jerry was always quick to make a buck when he could and parlayed rudimentary acting skills into a bunch of supporting roles stretching as far as Adam Sandler's The Waterboy. When asked about his dramatic motivation, he was always quick to point out that it was money. A bunch of other country stars followed his lead to the silver screen soon after, including Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.

Reed had always been a survivor. Born to humble roots, he dropped out of high school to tour with Faron Young and Ernest Tubb. That is unbelievably bad-ass, especially as at that point he had yet to even sign the record deal he signed at 17. Take that Hannah Montana. He plied his trade as a songwriter for Gene Vincent and Elvis but was also a hell of a picker. Dropping a virtual needle on either of the records he did with Chet Atkins will more than assert his legacy as one of country music's absolute greats. He had undergone quadruple-bypass heart surgery in recent years and died of complications from emphysema on Tuesday morning. Inexplicably, he is not in the Country Music Hall Of Fame, but it sure appears like there's space between Jim Reeves and Tex Ritter.

10-4 and out, Good Buddy!


As my first blog post-script: Would you look at that photo of Jerry! On any given Saturday around brunch in Brooklyn, you can see ten jackasses sporting that exact look, right down to the Adidas and Dobro. Who would have thought that trendy douchebags could even rip off Jerry Reed. Such a cancer they are!

No comments: