An unrivaled Jerry Reed songwriting list

The “East Bound and Down” wild man penned 323 confirmed compositions never compiled until now

Jerry Reed guested on “The Marty Robbins Spotlight,” a syndicated, 24-episode TV show hosted by the “El Paso” troubadour in Nashville, during the summer of 1977 as Reed’s third film “Smokey and the Bandit” challenged “Star Wars” as the most unexpected blockbuster of the year. Disney illustrator Pete Emslie based his amusing, dead-on caricature on that Robbins appearance. Image Credit: Caricature by Pete Emslie / Jerry Reed Fanclub [Facebook]

A Chronological Catalog of Jerry Reed Hubbard’s Compositions [1955–2008 record label tenures on Capitol, NRC, Columbia, RCA Victor, Southern Tracks, and R2K]

According to a 2017 Premier Guitar feature story, “The basic concept of modern fingerstyle guitar — playing multiple parts at once — was deeply influenced by the work of Jerry Reed. The strongest elements of Reed’s style came out of American blues, gospel, and country music. He combined those traits with an intuitive prowess on the instrument and a rambunctious sense of humor…Reed’s [claw] guitar style was uncommon and unique…” On the cover of his fourth album “Better Things in Life,” the rising 31-year-old songwriter is just a year away from funky country rocker “Amos Moses” catapulting him into household name status. Dropped in March 1969, the Chet Atkins-produced 12-song collection did not chart but earned Reed a Top 20 C&W hit — the title cut — as well as the moderately successful “Oh What a Woman!” [No. 60 C&W]. Image Credit: Sony Music Entertainment
The double-exposed cover of “Half Singin’ & Half Pickin’,” issued in March 1979 as Jerry Reed’s 24th studio album on RCA Victor Records. The LP rose to only No. 49 C&W but contained two Top 20 C&W singles — “Gimme Back My Blues” and “Second-Hand Satin Lady [And a Bargain Basement Boy].” Perhaps the only time Reed was caught sporting a beard, he’s playing a Gibson Les Paul dark vintage sunburst electric guitar. Reed was concentrating mostly on his acting résumé — the soon-to-be-released comedy “Hot Stuff” found him invigorating an undercover Miami cop alongside Dom DeLuise — and was planning to reprise his role as the 18-wheeler driver affectionately dubbed the Snowman in “Smokey and the Bandit II.” Photography by Herb Burnette / Sony Music Entertainment
A white shirt-clad Jerry Reed grips a cup of java as his sunglasses are within arm’s reach in this 1985 shot somewhere in Nashville, Tennessee. Closing in on 50 years old, the Atlanta-raised songwriter had recently been let go from RCA Victor after a lucrative, career-making 18-year sojourn. An offer to return to Capitol, the label that originally signed Reed, proved too much to resist. By 1986 Reed had the soundtrack to his sole directorial effort —“What Comes Around” that he also ambitiously produced and starred in — as well as the “Lookin’ at You” studio album and numerous singles that died commercially under his belt [sadly none have been digitally released]. The writing was on the wall, as Reed was dropped by Capitol later that year and never returned to a major label for the remainder of his career. Photography by Chris Connor / WENN

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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