Which artist sang the song Guitar Man

Jerry Reed: The Guitar Man is stepping down

In this country he was best known as an actor, because since the action comedies about "Smokey & the Bandit" with Burt Reynolds and himself, Jerry Reed, in the movie theaters, his face was at least partially familiar to the average consumer. He had never suspected that he would achieve great success in this profession - it was all a coincidence. Nevertheless, the death of Jerry Reed was also worth a brief tribute to German gazettes.

But his acting career was really no more than chance - his talents lay in other areas in which he will remain timelessly more successful. An excellent singer, an excellent songwriter, a wonderful singer, plus an entertainer, comedian and producer - it was all Jerry Reed Hubbard. He was born under this name on March 20, 1937 in the metropolis of Atlanta, Georgia. His parents, Cynthia and Robert Hubbard, gave him a lot of freedom as a child - and the little one enjoyed that. Especially when he was allowed to be with his grandparents in the tranquil town of Rockmart. The grandpa played the guitar and taught his grandson the first fingerings. The instrument would determine a large part of his life. Even back then, his grandfather insisted, he always said he would one day become a star. Otherwise, his childhood was not exactly the yellow of the egg. The parents separated before Reed was one year old. Therefore, together with his older sister, she grew up in children's and orphanages. It was only after he reached school age that he could return to his mother and stepfather. Of course, he did not find a sheltered home. As is often the case in such situations, the child Jerry Hubbard sought refuge in the world of music, which made him largely forget about everyday problems.

He attended O'Keefe High School in Atlanta, but continued to gain experience in music. In the meantime he has mastered the guitar really well, he wrote his own songs and was looking for an opportunity to earn a living with them in the future.
It was not yet ready, at first Hubbard still worked as a textile worker, but many of his evenings saw him in the clubs in and around Atlanta. Producer Bill Lowery became aware of him and brought him to Capitol Records. His first single was entitled "If The Good Lord Is Willing And The Creeks Don't Rise" - nothing original and no success either. Further recordings, which can mainly be assigned to the rockabillie, did not help him much. But who had arrived in the music industry and was about to realize their childhood dream? A song he wrote was called "Crazy Legs", was recorded by Gene Vincent and made the business aware of Mr. Hubbard's talent for writing. In addition, he got the opportunity to use his idiosyncratic but attractive guitar playing in the studios.

His private life was also in tune. He fell in love with Priscilla Mitchell, whom he married in 1959, a marriage that lasted and was happy until his death. Two daughters resulted from this marriage. (Priscilla Mitchell also appeared briefly as a singer when she brought "Yes Mr. Peters" into the charts with Roy Drusky in a duet).
His career, which had not yet got off to a good start, was delayed for another two years as Hubbard had to do his military service. Then the family moved to Nashville. A brief trip to Columbia Records shouldn't be more than an episode. Since the singing was not progressing, Hubbard continued to concentrate on writing songs and working as a studio musician. Of course, Hubbard did not lose confidence in him as a singer. In 1965, it was Chet Atkins who brought him to RCA - both became very close friends and admired each other's guitar skills. Now operating under the stage name Jerry Reed for a long time, he made his debut in 1967 with his own song "Guitar Man". This song hit the headlines a little later when Elvis Presley recorded it and made it a hit. Jerry Reed played the guitar - he then did that at other studio gigs by Presley, who also took on one or the other Reed song, including “U.S. Times".

Slowly his singing career also got going. About "Alabama Wild Man", "Georgia Sunshine", "Amos Moses" he worked his way up to his first No.1 placement - "When You're Hot You're Hot" in 1971. Two years later he repeated this coup with "Lord Mister Ford". It would take until 1982 before he could book his 3rd top position: 1982 with “She’s Got The Goldmine (I’ve Got The Shaft). In between, “East Bound And Down” from the first “Bandit Film” (ran under the title “Ein auskochtes Schlitzohr” in Germany) ran splendidly.

The 1970s became the most successful of the musician Jerry Reed. He was a regular on "Goodtime Hour", a popular TV series with Glen Campbell, his records went well and he was able to let off steam in many areas of business. These include notable instrumental albums that Reed recorded with Chet Atkins. At the same time he started his film career, which began in 1974 with “W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings ”at the side of buddy Burt Reynolds. Reed's successful times lasted until the mid-1980s, when his star as a singer gradually began to decline. At that time he had already made a first-class name for himself and therefore focused primarily on concerts. Thanks to his humor, which he incorporated into many of his songs, Jerry Reed had matured into an accomplished entertainer. Reed was also present as an actor in the cinema and television. In 1998 he made together with Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare and Mel Tillis, the not commercially attractive, but artistically impressive album "Old Dogs", which only contained songs by Shel Silverstein.

Over the past two years, Jerry Reed has repeatedly faced significant health problems. The news of his death was therefore not entirely unexpected. I will remember Jerry Reed mainly for his boyish nature. In his heart he has always remained the little boy who never missed a prank when he offered himself. I met him for the first time in Darmstadt on the occasion of a tour of the US clubs in Germany. There he had the opportunity to roar across the area in a tank. I will never forget his shining eyes and his cheers as he did his laps exuberantly. In an industry where envy and resentment are not alien, the colleagues accepted Reed’s work. Some even dreamed of working with Jerry Reed. Guitar genius Chet Atkins spoke in admiration of Reed for teaching him fingerpicking. Paul McCartney calls Jerry Reed one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Elvis Presley said: "All the pickers in the world can find themselves in Jerry’s song from Guitar Man!"

Reed also vividly remembered Elvis in the conversation because he was then pursuing his favorite hobby, fishing: “Felton Jarvis (producer) called me when I cast my rod on Cumberland. He wanted me to come straight into the studio because they couldn't handle "Guitar Man", he said they needed me as a guitarist. I play idiosyncratically and tune the guitar even more idiosyncratically. Sometimes I don't know exactly how to do it myself. So I dashed into the studio, played the intro and off I went. After that, Elvis regularly took me to the studio when he was recording in Nashville. ”As mischievous and boyish carefree as he was most of the time, he did his job seriously. Reed was considered a perfectionist. He said of his work: “Your fans are especially important! Ultimately, you alone determine where your journey goes. They want good music. I try to stay in constant contact with the fans to know what they expect from me. You must never let this connection break. And you have to be damn good all the time, that's what is expected of you. ”Jerry Reed remained true to this resolution to the end. Not least because of this, it has become a household name in the music scene.

On August 31, 2008, Jerry Reed left the stage forever when he succumbed to emphysema. He will remember his well over 50 singles in the charts, almost as many albums, more than a dozen films, many songs written by him such as "A Thing Called Love", but above all an incredibly pleasant fellow man.

Album CD: RCA Country Legends, Publication date: 2001, Label: Sony BMG

Track list:

01. Are You From Dixie (Cause I'm From Dixie Too), 02. The Claw, 03. Tupelo Mississippi Flash, 04. Talk About The Good Times, 05. The Likes Of Me, 06. Amos Moses, 07. U.S. Male, 08. Lord Mr. Ford, 09. Navy Blues, 10. She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft), 11. Guitar Man, 12. When You're Hot, You're Hot, 13. Remembering, 14 Alabama Wildman, 15th Nervous Breakdown, 16th East Bound And Down