Jerry Reed


Jerry Reed, born Jerry Reed Hubbard, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor known for his contributions to country music and popular culture. Born on March 20, 1937, in Atlanta, Georgia, Reed began his music career in the 1950s as a songwriter before gaining recognition as a recording artist in the 1960s.

Reed's unique style blended country, rock, and blues influences, earning him the nickname "The Guitar Man." He was not only acclaimed for his exceptional guitar skills but also for his distinctive vocal delivery and witty songwriting. Some of his most famous songs include "Guitar Man," "Amos Moses," and "When You're Hot, You're Hot," which won him a Grammy Award in 1972.

In addition to his successful music career, Jerry Reed also made a name for himself as an actor, appearing in several films and television shows. He is perhaps best known for his roles in movies like "Smokey and the Bandit" and "The Waterboy," where his charismatic personality and Southern charm endeared him to audiences worldwide.

Jerry Reed's influence on the music industry extends beyond his own recordings, as he collaborated with other artists, such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, and his songs have been covered by numerous musicians. His distinctive blend of country, rock, and humor left a lasting impact on the genre and continues to inspire artists today.

In conclusion, Jerry Reed was a multi-talented artist whose contributions to music and entertainment have solidified his legacy as a country music icon. His innovative style, virtuosic guitar playing, and charismatic performances have made him a beloved figure in the industry, and his influence can still be felt in the world of country music.

Early Life and Background

Jerry Reed was born on March 20, 1937, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Robert and Cynthia Reed. He grew up in a working-class family, with his father working as a truck driver and his mother as a homemaker. Jerry was the second of four children, and he had a close relationship with his siblings.

From a young age, Jerry showed a natural talent for music and began playing the guitar at the age of eight. He was largely self-taught and quickly developed a unique fingerpicking style that would become a hallmark of his later career. Jerry was deeply influenced by country music, blues, and rock and roll, and he spent countless hours listening to records and practicing his craft.

Despite his passion for music, Jerry's parents encouraged him to focus on his education. He attended high school in Atlanta, where he excelled academically and was involved in various extracurricular activities. However, Jerry's true passion remained music, and he continued to perform at local events and talent shows throughout his teenage years.

After graduating from high school, Jerry briefly attended college but ultimately decided to pursue a career in music full-time. He began performing at clubs and honky-tonks around Atlanta, honing his skills as a musician and gaining a loyal following. Jerry's big break came in 1967 when he was discovered by country music legend Chet Atkins, who signed him to his record label.

Jerry Reed's early life was marked by perseverance, passion, and a relentless drive to succeed in the music industry. His humble beginnings and strong work ethic laid the foundation for a successful career that would span decades and leave a lasting impact on the world of country music.

Career Beginnings

Jerry Reed began his career as a musician in the late 1950s after moving to Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of the country music scene. He had always been passionate about music from a young age and started playing the guitar at a very young age.

Reed's early interests and talents revolved around his ability to play the guitar with exceptional skill and flair. He quickly gained recognition for his unique fingerpicking style, which blended country, rock, and blues influences. His virtuosity on the guitar caught the attention of music industry insiders and led to his first professional performances in local clubs and bars in Nashville.

One of Jerry Reed's first breakthrough roles in his career was as a session musician, where he played guitar on recording sessions for artists such as Elvis Presley and Waylon Jennings. This gave him valuable experience and exposure in the music industry, paving the way for his solo career as a singer-songwriter.

Jerry Reed's dynamic guitar playing and charismatic stage presence eventually earned him a record deal with RCA Records in the early 1960s. He released his first album, "The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of Jerry Reed," which showcased his exceptional guitar skills and established him as a rising star in the country music scene.

Through hard work, persistence, and a unique musical style, Jerry Reed rose to fame and solidified his reputation as a talented musician and entertainer. His early career beginnings, coupled with his natural talent and passion for music, set the stage for a successful and enduring career in the music industry.

Breakthrough and Rise to Fame

Jerry Reed, born on March 20, 1937, in Atlanta, Georgia, had a unique style that blended country, rockabilly, and blues music. He made a breakthrough in his career when he started working as a session guitarist in Nashville in the late 1950s. His remarkable guitar playing skills caught the attention of music producers and led to opportunities to work with prominent artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings.

In the late 1960s, Jerry Reed began releasing his own solo albums, showcasing his distinctive singing and songwriting talents. His major role came in the 1970s when he starred in several films, including "Smokey and the Bandit" alongside Burt Reynolds. Reed not only acted in the film but also contributed to the soundtrack, including the hit song "East Bound and Down."

One of his most successful albums was "When You're Hot, You're Hot," released in 1971, which featured the title track that became a crossover hit on both the country and pop charts. Reed continued to release successful albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, solidifying his reputation as a versatile and talented musician.

Key performances and milestones in Jerry Reed's career include winning a Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance in 1971 for his song "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017.

Jerry Reed's legacy lives on through his influential music, acting career, and his contributions to country and rockabilly genres. His unique style and talent have left a lasting impact on the music industry and continue to inspire musicians and fans alike.

Career Highlights

Career Highlights of Jerry Reed:

Jerry Reed was a multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter, and actor known for his achievements in both the music and film industry. Here are some career highlights of Jerry Reed:

Music Career:
1. Reed achieved commercial success with hit songs like “Amos Moses,” “When You're Hot, You're Hot” and "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)."
2. He received acclaim for his innovative guitar playing style, blending country, rock, and blues influences.
3. Reed won two Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his songs “When You're Hot, You're Hot” and “Lord, Mr. Ford.”
4. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 for his contributions to country music.

Film and Television Career:
1. Reed gained popularity as an actor, starring in films like “Smokey and the Bandit” alongside Burt Reynolds.
2. He also appeared in TV shows such as “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour” and “The Jerry Reed When You're Hot, You're Hot Hour.”
3. Reed received critical acclaim for his comedic acting and on-screen charisma, becoming a favorite among audiences.

Notable Works:
1. Album: “When You're Hot, You're Hot” (1971) - One of Reed's most successful albums featuring the hit title track.
2. Film: “Smokey and the Bandit” (1977) - Reed's role as Cledus Snow gained him widespread recognition and popularity.
3. TV Show: “The Jerry Reed When You're Hot, You're Hot Hour” - Reed's own television show that showcased his musical and comedic talents.

Awards and Nominations:
1. Grammy Awards: Reed won two Grammy Awards for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
2. Academy of Country Music Awards: Reed received multiple nominations throughout his career for various categories.
3. Country Music Association Awards: Reed was recognized for his contributions to the country music industry with nominations and accolades.

Jerry Reed was a versatile and talented artist who left a lasting impact on the music and film industries. His unique blend of music, acting, and comedic talent solidified his place as a beloved and influential figure in entertainment.

Personal Life

Jerry Reed, a multi-talented musician and actor, was known for his lively personality and infectious energy both on and off stage. Born Jerry Reed Hubbard on March 20, 1937, in Atlanta, Georgia, he was raised in a musical family surrounded by country and bluegrass music.

Jerry Reed was married to Priscilla Mitchell, and they had two daughters, Charlotte Elaine and Seidina Ann. Family was a priority for Reed, and he was known to be a loving father and husband. He often spoke fondly of his family in interviews and credited them with being his source of inspiration.

In addition to his successful music career, which included hits like "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and "East Bound and Down," Reed had a passion for acting. He appeared in several movies, most notably in the "Smokey and the Bandit" series alongside Burt Reynolds. His charisma and humor on screen made him a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.

Outside of his professional life, Jerry Reed had a love for hunting and fishing. He enjoyed spending time outdoors and often found solace in nature. His hobbies included woodworking and car restoration, showcasing his creativity and hands-on skills.

Reed was also actively involved in philanthropic efforts, supporting various charitable organizations and causes. He often participated in benefit concerts and fundraisers, using his platform to give back to the community. Additionally, he was known for advocating for musicians' rights and supporting emerging talent in the industry.

Overall, Jerry Reed was a versatile and talented individual who made a significant impact in the world of music and entertainment. His dedication to his family, his various interests and hobbies, and his commitment to philanthropy and activism will always be remembered by those who knew and admired him.

Controversies and Challenges

Jerry Reed, the legendary country music artist and actor, faced several controversies and challenges throughout his career. One of the most notable controversies surrounding him was his tumultuous personal life, marked by struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction. Reed openly admitted to battling these demons, which at times affected his professional and personal relationships.

In addition to his personal struggles, Jerry Reed also faced legal battles during his career. In the 1980s, he was involved in a lawsuit with his former record label, accusing them of withholding royalties and exploiting his music without his consent. This legal battle dragged on for several years, causing significant stress and financial strain on Reed.

Despite these controversies and challenges, Jerry Reed continued to make a name for himself in the music industry, known for his innovative guitar playing and unique blend of country, rock, and blues. His talent and charisma helped him overcome adversity and win the admiration of fans and critics alike.

Overcoming his personal demons and legal battles, Jerry Reed managed to enjoy a successful career in music and acting, earning accolades such as Grammy Awards and induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His resilience and determination in the face of controversy and challenges serve as an inspiration to many aspiring musicians and artists. Jerry Reed's legacy lives on through his timeless music and memorable performances, solidifying his status as a true icon in the world of country music.

Legacy and Impact

Jerry Reed was a prominent musician and actor whose legacy and impact in the entertainment industry continue to resonate today. Known for his distinctive guitar-playing skills and signature country sound, Reed left a lasting imprint on music that has influenced generations of artists.

One of Reed's most notable contributions to the industry was his innovative and energetic guitar playing style, which combined elements of country, rock, and blues. His finger-picking technique and intricate solos set him apart as a master guitarist, earning him acclaim and admiration from fellow musicians and fans alike.

Reed's influence on the country music scene is undeniable, with many artists citing him as a major inspiration. His songs, such as "East Bound and Down" and "Amos Moses," have become classics in the genre and continue to be celebrated by fans of all ages. Reed's ability to blend humor, storytelling, and musical prowess in his songs set a high standard for country music that many artists strive to achieve.

Beyond his musical contributions, Reed also had a successful career in acting, with memorable roles in films such as "Smokey and the Bandit" alongside Burt Reynolds. His charismatic presence on screen and off endeared him to audiences and further solidified his status as a multi-talented entertainer.

Reed's cultural impact extends beyond music and film, as he served as a role model for aspiring musicians and performers with his dedication to his craft and his down-to-earth personality. His influence can be felt in the work of artists across various genres, showcasing the breadth of his impact on the entertainment industry.

As for his future prospects, Jerry Reed's legacy continues to be celebrated through re-releases of his music, tributes, and recognition of his contributions to the industry. His timeless songs and performances ensure that he will be remembered and appreciated for years to come, solidifying his place as a legendary figure in music history.

Fan Base and Public Image

Jerry Reed, the legendary musician and actor, has a dedicated fan base that spans across generations. Known for his unique blend of country, blues, and rock music, Reed's music has captivated audiences for decades. His fan base consists of loyal supporters who appreciate his exceptional guitar skills, soulful vocals, and witty songwriting.

Reed's public image is that of a talented and charismatic artist who exudes charm and authenticity. He is celebrated for his down-to-earth personality and sense of humor, which have endeared him to fans and colleagues alike. Reed's versatility as a musician and actor has also contributed to his esteemed public image, earning him admiration from both music enthusiasts and film fans.

In terms of social media presence, Jerry Reed's official accounts continue to engage with fans and share updates on his music and legacy. While Reed passed away in 2008, his impact on the music industry remains profound, and his social media accounts serve as a platform for fans to reminisce about his music and share their favorite memories.

Fan interactions with Jerry Reed's music often evoke a sense of nostalgia and appreciation for his timeless hits such as "East Bound and Down," "Amos Moses," and "When You're Hot, You're Hot." Fans frequently express their admiration for Reed's talent as a guitarist and songwriter, as well as his charismatic on-screen performances in films like "Smokey and the Bandit."

Overall, Jerry Reed's public perception is that of a beloved musician and entertainer whose contributions to country music and film have left an indelible mark on popular culture. His fan base continues to celebrate his legacy, keeping his music alive and inspiring new generations to appreciate his artistry.

Recent Projects and Current Status

Jerry Reed, the talented musician known for his country music hits and acting roles, unfortunately passed away in 2008. However, his musical legacy continues to be celebrated by fans and fellow artists alike. Reed's classic songs, such as "Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot," and "East Bound and Down," are still enjoyed by many listeners.

In recent years, there have been various tributes and homage paid to Jerry Reed through cover performances and mentions in the music industry. Many artists have cited him as an influence and have performed his songs in their own shows.

While Jerry Reed is no longer physically creating new music, his work continues to inspire and influence musicians across genres. His timeless songs and skilled guitar playing ensure that his legacy will live on for generations to come.

Interesting Facts and Trivia

Jerry Reed was a talented musician and actor known for his unique blend of country, rock, and blues music. Here are some interesting facts and anecdotes about him:

1. Reed was not only known for his music but also for his acting career. He starred in several films alongside legends such as Burt Reynolds in movies like "Smokey and the Bandit." He even received a Grammy Award for his performance in the film "Eastbound and Down."

2. Reed was a prolific songwriter and penned many hit songs for himself as well as for other artists. One of his most famous songs, "Guitar Man," was later recorded by Elvis Presley.

3. Jerry Reed was nicknamed "The Guitar Man" due to his exceptional guitar skills. His fingerpicking style was admired by many guitarists, and he was considered one of the best in the country music scene.

4. Reed was known for his sense of humor and down-to-earth personality. He often incorporated humor into his music and performances, endearing him to fans all over the world.

5. Despite his success, Reed remained humble and approachable. He was known for his generosity and willingness to help emerging artists in the music industry.

6. In addition to his musical and acting talents, Reed was also a skilled storyteller. His song lyrics often told captivating tales, drawing listeners in with his unique narrative style.

7. Reed's legacy continues to inspire musicians across genres, and his music remains timeless and influential in the country and rock music scene.

Jerry Reed's impact on music and entertainment is undeniable, and his legacy continues to live on through his timeless songs and memorable performances.


In conclusion, Jerry Reed was a multi-talented musician, actor, and songwriter who made a significant impact on the country music industry. Throughout his career, he consistently impressed audiences with his unique blend of guitar skills, songwriting prowess, and charismatic stage presence. Known for hits such as "Guitar Man" and "East Bound and Down," Reed's music showcased his distinctive fingerpicking style and clever lyrics.

Jerry Reed's journey from a humble upbringing in Georgia to becoming a celebrated artist is a testament to his hard work and dedication. His collaborations with other music legends, including Chet Atkins and Elvis Presley, further solidified his place in music history. Reed also found success in acting, with iconic roles in movies like "Smokey and the Bandit."

While Jerry Reed may no longer be with us, his influence and legacy continue to live on through his timeless music and contributions to the entertainment industry. He remains a beloved figure in country music, remembered for his talent, humor, and lasting impact on the genre. Jerry Reed's legacy as a versatile artist and entertainer will undoubtedly be cherished by generations to come.

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