Greasy, backbeat swampy, funky stuff: The brilliance that was Jerry Reed

Ladies and gentlemen, the cover of “Jerry Reed Live! Featuring ‘Hot Stuff,’” Reed’s first live album issued August 6, 1979, on RCA Victor. In spite of a dynamic shot of a blue denim shirt-clad Reed soloing on a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, all-new material except for the last two tracks — a drastically rearranged rock version of “Guitar Man” and the always crowd-pleasing “East Bound and Down” — and intentionally being a tie-in with the screwball Miami cop comedy of the same name directed by Dom DeLuise and costarring Suzanne Pleshette, Ossie Davis and Reed, the 11-track record barely dented the Billboard C&W chart where it stalled at No. 45. It’s a crying shame that “Hot Stuff” has yet to be remastered for CD or streaming, yet the film is available on DVD. Reed would release one additional true live LP, 2005’s “Jerry Reed Live! Still!” Photography by Herb Burnette / Sony Music Entertainment / Discogs

The John Harris Interview

What was one of the first instances where you distinctly remember hearing Jerry Reed?

An outtake from Jerry Reed’s March 1979 “Half Singin’ and Half Pickin’” studio album cover shoot graces the since-defunct “Pickin’”, subtitled “For People into Music”, magazine issued in August of that year. Besides a Gibson Les Paul Sunburst with black pickguard electric guitar, Reed sports an unusual beard and bowl cut hair style. The 10-track “Half Singin’” has sadly never been reissued on CD or via streaming, although the frenetic “Nervous Breakdown” instrumental can be heard on the 2001 “RCA Country Legends” compilation. Photography by Herb Burnette / The Justin Bates Collection / Pinterest
Circa October 14, 2012, former Jerry Reed sideman John Harris supports local bluesman Todd Tijerina at the Indian Culture Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Harris is playing an F-Bass made by George Furlanetto in Canada. It’s a BN-6 custom 2003 model with a spalted maple top that remains “the best bass I’ve ever played.” Photography by Donnie Frank / The John Harris Collection
Make it count, son! In April 1989, about a month after John Harris’s tenure with the band concluded, a black and white candid finds funky guitar picker Jerry Reed harnessing a Fender Telecaster at the Yokota Air Base in Western Tokyo, Japan. The month-long trek of U.S. military bases served as Reed’s first tour of the Far East. Photography by Rob Jagodzinski / Stars and Stripes
Circa 1992 when “Sneakin’ Around,” the Grammy-winning, nearly all-instrumental collaborative album with Chet Atkins was distributed, a 55-year-old Jerry Reed is disarmingly handsome in a dark pink shirt and ready to do a little finger dancin’ on his trusty Del Langejans acoustic guitar. Reed dropped only three further albums in the nineties — “Flyin’ High,” the vastly underrated “Pickin’”, and the “Old Dogs” supergroup project with Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, and Mel Tillis. Image Credit: Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame
Former Stax Records artist Sandra Wright is surrounded by her Soul Kitchen band circa 1992. Bassist John Harris is in all white, followed by lead guitarist Pete Marriot, and kneeling is drummer Lloyd Herman, who played for years with traditional blues fiddle player Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. Photography by Susan Auruda
Rocking a distinguished looking beard, bass extraordinaire John Harris jams somewhere in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 25, 2014. Photography by James S. Sorby / The John Harris Collection

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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