Tuesday, September 2, 2008
When You're Dead, You're Dead
Jerry Reed, onetime costar of the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, dead at the age of 71. Reed rose to stardom as a Nashville songwriter and session guitar player, noted for his distinctive finger-picking style called "the Claw." He also wrote "That's All You Gotta Do," which was the B-side to Brenda Lee's 1960 Number One smash "I'm Sorry," and probably made Jerry a sizable chunk of change.
In the 1970s, Reed became a pop star, hitting the Top Ten twice in 1971 with "Amos Moses" and "When You're Hot, You're Hot," which also went to Number One on the country charts. He was such a massive, recognizable celeb that he made a guest appearance in Scooby-Doo. Billy Bob Thornton has said that the only real measures of cultural significance in America are hosting Saturday Night Live and appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone, but a Scooby-Doo guest shot must be a close third, alongside being animated on The Simpsons.
Reed also became Burt Reynolds' sidekick in the late 1970s, appearing in each installment of the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy as well as such Reynolds vehicles as W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings and Gator. In his later years, Reed cut an album and toured with a group called Old Dogs, which consisted of Jerry, Mel Tillis, Waylon Jennings, and Bobby Bare.