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September 2, 2008 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Musician and Actor Jerry Reed passes away at age 71 Amazing musician and good ol' boy actor and Scooby Doo regular, Jerry Reed was known for such hits as East Bound and Down and his roles in the Smokey and the Bandit series of films. posted by chillmost (64 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Good night, Snowman. Woah Bandit!

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posted by Nick Verstayne at 3:29 PM on September 2, 2008


10-7
posted by chillmost at 3:33 PM on September 2, 2008


emphysema, what a surprise.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 3:37 PM on September 2, 2008


:( crap

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posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:39 PM on September 2, 2008


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East bound and down....
posted by arimathea at 3:39 PM on September 2, 2008


Way bummed to hear this. Jerry made some great music and seemed to always have fun doing it. His best-of is a regular listen at the Slack household and can always put a smile on my face. I love his goofy story songs, but he was also a solid conventional songwriter and a hell of a guitar picker. He wrote and recorded "Guitar Man", which Elvis recorded soon after.

Also worth seeing: Jerry's guitar skills on the instrumental "Lightning Rod", with Glen Campbell and Tom Jones, and a nice news piece about Jerry being honored by the veterans for his charity work over the years.

And as much as I loved him in the Smokey and the Bandit movies, as an actor, I'll always remember him as Bama McCall.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:40 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


R.I.P. That sumbitch sure could pick.
posted by Ber at 3:44 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by rdone at 3:48 PM on September 2, 2008


Also, check out this great performance of "Wabash Cannonball" from the Porter Wagoner show.

As I was looking for some Jerry Reed stuff for a FPP I got caught up watching a lot of Reed performances and chillmost beat me to the punch.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:49 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by horsemuth at 3:54 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by Senor Cardgage at 4:02 PM on September 2, 2008


But who will feed Fred?
posted by doctor_negative at 4:16 PM on September 2, 2008


Look out, God. Here comes Jerrrrrrry!

I don't like country music, but I always made an exception for Jerry.

"It's me they're after! They don't even know Cletus Snow exists!"
"Oh, they don't? Well, I tell you what we're gonna do, we just gonna introduce 'em to the boy! So move over good buddy because the Snow Man is coming through.
"

I used to work in a bowling alley. They would lower projection screens over the lanes for football games, so that people could watch, drink, and bowl. One night, I was left pretty much on my own (there were some folks working concessions and a girl in the bar, but no one else behind the control desk). So I started flipping through the channels after the game was over (fun to do when you have a dozen projection screens at your whim). Because it's always on TBS, I found Smokey and the Bandit playing and OMG did the house go wild. Most of the sports crowd had taken off, and that left a few families and some teenagers. I tell you what, that movie just about brought everyone together and it was all I could do not to get on the PA and start singing, "Eeeeastbound and dowwwwwn, loaded up and truckin'!" When that line about Cletus introducing himself came up, there was a cheer as his semi plowed through the blockade. Really powerful stuff, and it definitely turned a horrible late Sunday shift into the high point of the week.

Jerry, next time I mime at a trucker to sound his horn, that blast's for you, good buddy.
posted by Eideteker at 4:17 PM on September 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


That Wabash Cannonball link is seriously awesome. Thanks.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 4:19 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by Artichoke Dance Off!! at 4:21 PM on September 2, 2008


See, they had a *long* way to go and a *short* time to get there. And it was this, they said couldn’t be done. Not vise versa.
Once I realized that, it made the movie a lot more enjoyable.
You see, they needed the fast car to distract the police who might otherwise chase the truck which would inhibit the high velocity the truck must travel at in order to reach the destination within a short period of time.
I think many viewers miss this nuance of the film.

and .
(Amos Moses is just a damn havin’ fun tune)
posted by Smedleyman at 4:22 PM on September 2, 2008


What's he wearin' now? Come back..


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posted by monkeystronghold at 4:25 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aw, damn. Met him once at the El Paso rodeo when I was a kid. He was there performing, and I was infatuated with Smokey and the Bandit. Nice guy, to a kid who couldn't even stammer a "hello," much less shake his hand.

I asked him if that truck from the movie was his. He laughed and told me the truck cost more than he did.

I'm gonna' miss that son of a truck drivin' mother.
posted by blixco at 4:27 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by Verdant at 4:29 PM on September 2, 2008


childhood gets further and further away....

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posted by batmonkey at 4:31 PM on September 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


childhood gets further and further away....

Those are the words I was looking for.
posted by chillmost at 4:44 PM on September 2, 2008


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I love "When You're Hot, You're Hot." R.I.P. Jerry
posted by porn in the woods at 4:50 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by jonp72 at 5:03 PM on September 2, 2008


Anyone remember his film Hot Stuff? (It was a surprisingly enjoyable movie.)
posted by jca at 5:09 PM on September 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


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We'll miss him (and Fred, too).

FRED! Get back in the truck!
posted by gcbv at 5:14 PM on September 2, 2008


jca - yeah! ...with Dom Deluise. I forgot all about that movie. It was on non-stop on HBO in the 80's. I swear that I must have seen Hot Stuff over 50 times!
posted by horsemuth at 5:26 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by entropicamericana at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2008


I'm sorry he's dead, and I can admit that some of his music was good...but East Bound and Down is the most gawdawful strong earworm. Just try getting through a normal day's work with that stuck in your head.
posted by dilettante at 5:29 PM on September 2, 2008


Amos Moses is an amazing song (if you haven't heard it, check out the link above.) The best country funk song EVAH. Covered by Primus, too.
posted by msalt at 5:37 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by jtron at 5:38 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by Smart Dalek at 5:39 PM on September 2, 2008


What I liked best about him is that he seriously has a good time while he's picking. He could really pick, but he never came across as grim like Chet.


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posted by RussHy at 5:51 PM on September 2, 2008


I will never forget seeing a Smokey and the Bandit I & II double-feature at the local movie theatre when I was about 12. How my mom let my little brother and me go to that show I'll never know but it was the second greatest movie experience of my young life (#1 was Star Wars, of course).
Hell, I had the original S&tB soundtrack on vinyl even before that.

batmonkey has it right.

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posted by djeo at 5:51 PM on September 2, 2008


"I asked him if that truck from the movie was his. He laughed and told me the truck cost more than he did."

And I can hear him say it. Thanks for sharing that!
posted by Eideteker at 5:55 PM on September 2, 2008


. on behalf of Mr. F, whose sole comment was "Piss."
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 6:02 PM on September 2, 2008


img
posted by Eideteker at 6:12 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Single-link WFMU-sourced RealAudio post: Jerry Reed - "Rockin in Bagdad."

Starts about 10 seconds in.
posted by Joey Bagels at 6:17 PM on September 2, 2008


This is terrible. So long, Jerry.
posted by popechunk at 6:21 PM on September 2, 2008


Back in the mid-70s, he released a version of Stars and Stripes Forever that pretty much defined how that song should be played. There was a drum kit in there, but the rest was all guitars: thundering bass turned up to 11, tandem guitars playing the main melody, piccolo counterpoint played way up on the neck, awesome. We would crank that sucker up and scream, "Cowboys kick Sousa ass!" I've been looking for a non-vinyl copy for years, but no luck. The version he released just a few years ago is nice, but really pales in comparison to the original.

For some reason, I've had Amos Moses stuck in my head for the past week. It looks now like it'll be there for a while longer, but that's not such a bad thing.
posted by joaquim at 7:25 PM on September 2, 2008


Too bad it wasn't an alligator down in the swamp, lawd, that did him in.

RIP, Guitar Man.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 PM on September 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


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posted by waraw at 7:28 PM on September 2, 2008


He was a damn fine performer. Truly one of my favorites.

Long live the story-song.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:44 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by joannemerriam at 8:40 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by ikkyu2 at 9:13 PM on September 2, 2008


I take back what I said about you Jerry. And thanks for the memories.

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posted by Sailormom at 9:57 PM on September 2, 2008


Jerry Reed's cover of "Goodnight, Irene" was one of my father's very favorite songs, and I have fond memories of singing along to it with him. Dad would also start singing it right before he'd run the table on me while shooting pool...

Bye, Jerry. I didn't think to miss you until you were gone.

Teach them angels how to pick.

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posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:24 PM on September 2, 2008


"We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there," has always kinda summed it up for me.

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posted by humannaire at 11:25 PM on September 2, 2008


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posted by bonefish at 12:08 AM on September 3, 2008


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posted by Darned account name at 12:22 AM on September 3, 2008


Great. My first crush is dead. And I'm sure I wasn't the only one who claimed him as such.

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posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:01 AM on September 3, 2008


From the recent "Jerry Clower" thread on MeFi, we find this bit from "The Jerry Reed Show".
posted by RavinDave at 2:10 AM on September 3, 2008


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I'll have to add him to the 'dead American country artists whose songs I cover' pile.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:43 AM on September 3, 2008


I was reminded of the Amos Moses song when I read the story of Devin Funck.
posted by Darned account name at 3:23 AM on September 3, 2008


See, they had a *long* way to go and a *short* time to get there. And it was this, they said couldn’t be done. Not vise versa.
Once I realized that, it made the movie a lot more enjoyable.
You see, they needed the fast car to distract the police who might otherwise chase the truck which would inhibit the high velocity the truck must travel at in order to reach the destination within a short period of time.
I think many viewers miss this nuance of the film.


DAMMIT, Smedleyman! I saw that movie in the theater as a teenager, and I guess the plot was just over my head. So whenever it showed up on TBS, I'd watch it again, year after year, trying to unravel the plot. I just could never do it. I had 2001: A Space Odyssey and Kim Ki-duk’s The Isle (Seom) figured out years ago, thanks to the plethora of books and articles written about them. But Smokey and the Bandit... for some reason, there were no interpretive articles, shot-by-shot explanatory books, or websites explaining the plot. Even IMDB was no help. It's as if the opacity of the plot prevented people from even trying to figure it out.

But, now, thanks to you I get it! I'll have to put it on my Netflix queue and check it out again with fresh eyes. Hopefully, after watching it a few times, with your fresh interpretation, it will seem like more than just a random series of images. Whoa, there's the police chasing Burt Reynolds! Wait! Who's that guy in the truck! What's that mysterious cargo? Why are they going so fast? What is a "Smokey"? Why all the flashing lights? Why is that Honeymooners guy there, and The Flying Nun? Thanks God you came along. The pieces are clicking into place. Until it shows up in my mailbox, I'll just keep repeating: Long way, short time. Long way, short time. Long way, short time. Long time, short... DAMMIT!
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RIP, Jerry Reed.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:03 AM on September 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Once you're done with that, Fuzzy, you may be ready to tackle the enigma that is The Cannonball Run. "The only rule is there are no rules" is one of the most beloved yet uncrackable koans in modern cinema.
posted by Spatch at 5:14 AM on September 3, 2008


<>
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posted by fourcheesemac at 5:44 AM on September 3, 2008


Once you're done with that, Fuzzy, you may be ready to tackle the enigma that is The Cannonball Run. "The only rule is there are no rules" is one of the most beloved yet uncrackable koans in modern cinema.

Yeah, I saw that too, but I keep getting it mixed up with The Gumball Rally, leaving me doubly confused!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:00 AM on September 3, 2008


One my early guitar idols, but I never could play like him.

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posted by tommasz at 6:27 AM on September 3, 2008


Goddamn.
posted by Cyclopsis Raptor at 7:44 AM on September 3, 2008


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posted by fixedgear at 8:14 AM on September 3, 2008


Son, I think we all just got the shaft . . .

If anyone can find a video of Tim Wilson's "I Married a Woman Who Talks Like Jerry Reed" I promise I'll watch it. Really and truly.

S'long, you ol' hillbilly
posted by Bixby23 at 8:28 AM on September 3, 2008


I like a few of Jerry's tunes (like "When You're Hot, You're Hot"), but I loved "Amos Moses"! During the required square dancing in high school (you know, for Sadie Hawkins day), in order to apease people who tired of all square dancing (as if!), they would play a couple "bonus" songs (and taught us the dances to) - "Montego Bay" and "Amos Moses". Good times.

And "Hot Stuff" was great little gem of a flick.

RIP, Jerry.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:57 AM on September 3, 2008


“But Smokey and the Bandit... for some reason, there were no interpretive articles, shot-by-shot explanatory books, or websites explaining the plot.”

I believe The Society for Cinema and Media Studies has a piece titled “Jean-Luc Godard and the existential roots of Ursidae predation set against themes of banditry and the symbolism of the Kenworth W900A short-frame semi truck.”

Pretty good read.

Also - those things they’re talking into in the car? Radios! They’re actually talking to each other. It really puts a sort of narrative to the film.

S’funny. I don’t consider myself liking country music. But I like Jerry Reed. I like Johnny Cash. I like Patsy Cline.
Apparently (as I was schooled by a country boy) I don’t like the new stuff that passes as country.
I get what they’re trying to do with all the glitz and looking like they’re having fun.
But Reed struck me as the sort of guy actually having fun, and that was infectious. Even for a guy like me who has two folders on my mp3 player: Metal and other.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:15 PM on September 3, 2008


Most of his music was humorous, but he had his serious side, as well.

I Love You, What Can I Say

A poet, no, no I’m not a poet
But if I were, and if I had every word in the world at my command
My poem would still be I love you
posted by Dorri732 at 9:35 AM on September 4, 2008


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