Elvis Presley’s cover of ‘Talk About the Good Times’ contains an uncredited Jerry Reed guitar solo

Featuring lead single “The Crude Oil Blues,” here is the 1974 cover of Jerry Reed’s “A Good Woman’s Love” RCA Victor album.
Featuring lead single “The Crude Oil Blues,” here is the 1974 cover of Jerry Reed’s “A Good Woman’s Love” RCA Victor album.
Jerry Reed’s blue denim ensemble, mutton chop sideburns, turquoise necklace, wristbands, and red, white, and black belt buckle of an American eagle reek of the Disco Decade. “A Good Woman’s Love” was the celebrated claw picker’s 17th studio album, dropped in June 1974 on RCA Victor. The title cut [No. 12 C&W] and the Guitar Man’s own composition “Crude Oil Blues” [No. 91 POP, No. 13 C&W] were Top 20 hits on Billboard’s country chart. Although a decent seller [five weeks on the C&W chart, peaking at No. 28], the album signaled a downward trajectory in Reed’s fortunes until the anthemic “East Bound and Down” three years later. Of the LP’s 10 songs, “Everybody Needs Someone” was also penned by Reed, while he arranged “Oh Shenandoah” and “Rollin’ in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.” Propelled by a clavinet, Reed even did justice to Elvis Presley’s “Mystery Train.” Mentor Chet Atkins co-produced the proceedings with Reed, and the band included Atkins apprentice Paul Yandell, fiddle maestro Vassar Clements, and powerhouse drummer Larrie London. After being unavailable for 45 years unless you held onto the original vinyl, “A Good Woman’s Love” was finally reissued in January 2019 to digital outlets with minimal fanfare. Photography by Bob Jones / Sony Music Entertainment / Pandora
Image for post
Image for post
Ironically, Elvis Presley’s 10-track “Good Times” became his worst-charting studio, live, or soundtrack album [No. 90 POP, No. 5 C&W] upon its March 20, 1974, bow. Pieced together from July and December 1973 sessions at Stax in Memphis [the summer results were dismal], Tony Joe White’s ”I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby” [No. 39 POP, No. 4 C&W] and “My Boy” [No. 20 POP, No. 14 C&W] were issued as A-sides. Besides Elvis’s jubilant rendition of Jerry Reed’s “Talk About the Good Times,” ”Loving Arms,” Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues,” and “I Got a Feelin’ in My Body” are recommended picks. Dennis Linde of “Burning Love” fame contributed the latter gospel funk number. Photography by Ed Bonja / Sony Music Entertainment / Amazon
Image for post
Image for post
“What do you mean…..I ain’t no Elvis Presley!!!! Love ya, Jerry Reed.” The Guitar Man autographed this comical still also featuring singer-keyboardist-wife Priscilla Mitchell Reed [far left], famed Nashville slip-note session pianist Floyd Cramer [1933–1997], and a Stetson-sporting Felton Jarvis [1934–1981], best known as Elvis’s record producer for the majority of his 1966 to 1977 studio and live dates. The identity of the pretty lady next to Reed is uncertain [comment below if you know]. Cramer was on hand for Elvis’s debut RCA session in January 1956 that yielded the iconic “Heartbreak Hotel” and remained a mainstay through the Top 30 “U.S. Male” single 12 years later. Incidentally, Reed wrote the testosterone-fueled, talking blues ode and supplied the lead gut string acoustic guitar on the Elvis master. Image Credit: The Tony Frost Collection
Image for post
Image for post
RCA Victor producer Felton Jarvis, an unidentified gentleman [comment below if you know] and Jerry Reed are jovial in this circa 1972 candid where wide lapels ruled the day. Image Credit: The Tony Frost Collection
Image for post
Image for post
Songwriter-guitarist Jerry Reed gives insight on his four compositions waxed by Elvis Presley — “U.S. Male,” “Guitar Man,” “A Thing Called Love,” and “Talk About the Good Times” — on page 182 of Ken Sharp’s 2006 hardcover tome “Writing for the King: The Stories of the Songwriters.” Reed was one of the 140-odd interviewees for Sharp’s mammoth project a few years before his 2008 death from emphysema. Reed misremembers “A Thing Called Love” being waxed in Memphis and featuring his guitar overdubbed in Nashville. On the master take no guitars can be heard—only drums, bass, piano, an overpowering string section, the Imperials, and Elvis. Image Credit: Follow That Dream Records
Image for post
Image for post
Songwriter-guitarist Jerry Reed reveals that he overdubbed guitar on Elvis Presley’s December 1973 Stax rendition of “Talk About the Good Times” on page 183 of Ken Sharp’s 2006 hardcover tome “Writing for the King: The Stories of the Songwriters.” Image Credit: Follow That Dream Records

Written by

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store