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Jerry Reed Biography

Home > Music > R > Reed, Jerry > Biography

Birth Name: Jerry Reed Hubbard
Born: 1937/03/20
Birth Place: Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Died: 2008/09/01
Years Active: 1956 – 2008
Genres: Country

Jerry Reed Hubbard was born on March 20, 1937 in Atlanta, Georgia and was a country music singer, guitarist, songwriter, and actor who appeared in a variety of feature films throughout his career and release 49 studio albums. Reed is most well-known for his hits: “Guitar Man,” “A Thing Called Love,” “Alabama Wild Man,” “Amos Moses,” and “When You're Hot, You're Hot,” which earned Reed a Grammy Award for 'Best Male Country Vocal.' As a small child, Reed took to strumming the guitar and was known to run about the house yelling, “I am gonna be a star. I'm gonna go to Nashville and be a star.” By the time Reed was in high school he was writing and singing his own music. At age 18, he was signed by Bill Lowery and recorded his first record, “If the Good Lord's Willing and the Creek Don't Rise.” At first Reed's music made little impact on the general public, however, in 1959, Reed charted “Soldier's Joy” on Billboard's Country Charts. This gained Reed more attention and by 1961 he had moved to Nashville to further his music career. 1962 garnered some success for Reed with the singles “Goodnight Irene” and “Hully Gully Guitar,” both of which perked Chet Atkins interest at RCA Victor. Atkins went on to produce Reed's 1965 hit, “If I Don't Live Up to It.”

The next few years marked a string of hits for Reed, and the release of his debut solo album, of note were 1967's “Guitar Man” and “Tupelo Mississippi Flash,” which peaked at #16 on the Billboard Country Singles Chat. Elvis Presley went on to cover Reed's “Guitar Man,” “A Thing Called Love,” and “Talk About The Good Times.” The two went on to work together on a number of Reed's and Presley's songs. Johnny Cash also covered Reed's “A Thing Called Love” in 1971, which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart. In 1970 Reed produced the crossover hit “Amos Moses,” a fusion of rock, country, funk, and Cajun music, which peaked at #8 on the Billboard Pop charts. Reed followed up the success of his hit with a duet album with Atkins. 1971 marked Reed's biggest hit, “When You're Hot, You're Hot” off his album by the same name.

A second collaboration with Atkins, “Me & Chet,” arrived in 1972, with more singles following. During the 1980s Reed scored a number of hits with: “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft),” “The Bird,” which peaked at #2, and “I'm a Slave,” in 1983. By the mid-1980s Reed’s music wasn't charting so well and he began to focus more on touring, in addition to his acting roles in television and film. The 1990s saw Reed collaborate with country musicians Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, and Bobby Bare in the group 'Old Dogs.' The group released their debut album, “Old Dogs,” in 1988. Reed died in Nashville, Tennessee from emphysema in 2008.