Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RIP: Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed died today of Emphysema. He was 71. It's a shame (and not at all ironic) that the guy who recorded "Another Puff" on his Ko-Ko Joe album would succumb to a smoking related disease.

This man was another one of my heroes. He was a killer guitarist and songwriter. Most people know him solely from his work as Burt Reynold's sidekick in the "Smokey And The Bandit" pictures, or, to a newer generation, as the coach in Adam Sandler's"The Waterboy".

To me, however, I will always think of him as a fantastic writer and performer of country funk storysongs. Although he had a fine baratone, as showcased in songs like Today Is Mine and A Thing Called Love (A personal favorite of mine), the meat of his hits were performed like near rap narrations. She Got The Goldmine (I Got the Shaft), Tupelo Mississippi Flash, When You're Hot, You're Hot, Ko-Ko Joe and his signature classic Amos Moses were all spoken storysongs that skyrocketed him to the top of the Country Western charts throughout the 70's and early 80's. All of those songs were produced by Chet Atkins solely or with Jerry on hand co-producing and were on the RCA label. They even released a few instrumental albums together; Jerry's guitar in one speaker, Chet Atkins' guitar in the other.

The songs were funky, too. Even if the songs were labeled country, the guitar riffs in the songs were nothing short of diabolical funk. I'm still amazed no R&B producer hasn't sampled the riff from Amos Moses. It's THAT funky.

so, you'll be missed Jerry. I'm going to put on some Jerry Reed albums in his honor tonight.

Here's Amos Moses from 1983

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