Nashville drummer Ric McClure conjures hot licks with kick-ass picker Jerry Reed

Ric McClure, best known as rip-roaringly innovative guitarist Jerry Reed’s drummer from 1981 until 1989 in the Thompson Station Congregation, looks back on the late “Smokey and the Bandit” actor’s life and career in an interview debuting exclusively here. McClure and Reed are pictured aboard the Elvis Presley session guitarist’s custom tour bus in the spring of 1982. “I remember this conversation well,” says McClure. “We’re talking about us playing the Sorghum Festival in my hometown of West Liberty, Kentucky. Jerry never hesitated for a second. He said, ‘Absolutely, son. I’d love to play your hometown, and we’ll work the money out.’ Which he did — for way less than he was booking for at that time.” Image Credit: The Ric McClure Collection

A world without Jerry Reed is decidedly less cheerful. In the decade and a half since the charismatic entertainer succumbed to emphysema complications at age 71 in the Nashville suburb of Brentwood, drummer Ric McClure exclusively grants his most expansive conversation yet about the guitar-endorsing employer who became a trusted mentor and buddy.

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Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts

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