Jerry Reed

Induction Year: 2005

Birth Name: Jerry Reed Hubbard

Birth Date: 03-20-1937

Place of Birth: Atlanta, Georgia

Death Date: 09-01-2008

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

A gifted and innovative guitarist, a compelling film actor and an always entertaining live performer, Jerry Reed was also a hit songwriter who wove his guitar artistry and his love of language and humor into hit songs including "Guitar Man," "U.S. Male," and "When You're Hot, You're Hot."

Reed began playing guitar at age nine and was appearing on stages with Ernest Tubb and Faron Young when still in his early teens. He was signed to Capitol Records at 17, but his early singles failed to gain national attention. Reed's songwriting was the first element of his musicality to catch on, and in 1960 Brenda Lee took his "That's All You Gotta Do" to the Top 10 on the pop chart. In 1962, Reed's version of "Hully Gully Guitar" (recorded for his new label, Columbia) made the pop Top 100. Reed moved to Nashville and began playing recording sessions.

In 1962, Porter Wagoner topped country charts with Reed's "Misery Loves Company." Reed had arrived as a songwriter, but it would be guitar great Chet Atkins who developed Reed as a recording artist. Atkins signed the 27-year-old musician to an RCA Records deal in 1964, determined to focus attention on Reed's funky, rhythmic guitar work as well as his vocals. In 1966, Reed released his instrumental masterwork "The Claw," which has been covered to varying effect by numerous guitarists.

The late 1960s found Reed writing and recording works that fused his considerable linguistic and instrumental skills, notably "Guitar Man," "Amos Moses," "Tupelo, Mississippi Flash" and "U.S. Male." Reed became a favorite songwriter and session guitarist for RCA labelmate Elvis Presley, who covered both "Guitar Man" and "U.S. Male" in 1968.

Reed's most triumphant decade was the 1970s. In those years, he starred in feature films, had a #1 country hit with the humorous, Grammy-winning "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and scored a #2 country hit with "East Bound and Down." The latter was the theme song from the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, in which Reed played truck driver Cledus "Snowman" Snow. He also won a country instrumental Grammy for his work with Chet Atkins, as well as two CMA Musician of the Year awards.

Reed continued as a hit-maker in the 1980s, and he recorded with Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis and Bobby Bare in the group Old Dogs in 1998. He died in 2008 of complications from emphysema.

"A Thing Called Love"

Jerry Reed1968 
Jimmy Dean1968 #21 country
Ed Ames1969 #21 adult contemporary
Elvis Presley1971 
Johnny Cash1972 #2 country, #37 adult contemporary
Lynn Anderson1973 
Tanya Tucker1983 

"Alabama Wild Man"

Jerry Reed1968 #48 country
Jerry Reed1972 #22 country

"Amos Moses"

Jerry Reed1970 #8 pop, #16 country

"Born to Be by Your Side"

Jimmy Dean1968 #52 country

"Crazy Legs"

Gene Vincent1957 
Jeff Beck1993 

"East Bound and Down"

(written with Dick Feller)

Jerry Reed1977 #2 country, soundtrack: Smokey and the Bandit

"Guitar Man"

Jerry Reed1967 #53 country
Elvis Presley1968 #43 pop
Bob Luman1968 
Elvis Presley (re-release)1981 #1 country, #28 pop
Junior Brown2001 

"He's Not for Real"

Priscilla Mitchell1967 #53 country

"Hully Gully Guitar"

Jerry Reed1962 #99 pop

"Ko-Ko Joe"

Jerry Reed1971 #11 country, #51 pop

"Misery Loves Company"

Porter Wagoner1962 #1 country
Jerry Reed1972 
Moe Bandy1977 
Johnson Mountain Boys1983 


Jerry Reed1968 #14 country

"Rockin' in Bagdad"

Jerry Reed1958 

"Talk About the Good Times"

Jerry Reed1970 #14 country
Elvis Presley1973 
Frankie Lane1987 
Oak Ridge Boys1995 

"That's All You Gotta Do"

Brenda Lee1960 #6 pop

"The Claw"

Jerry Reed1966 
Lenny Breau1969 
Chet Atkins1973 
Chet Atkins & Jerry Reed1992 
Dave Edmunds1994 

"Tupelo Mississippi Flash"

Jerry Reed1967 #15 country

"U.S. Male"

Jerry Reed1967 
Elvis Presley1968 #28 pop, #55 country

"When You're Hot, You're Hot"

Jerry Reed1971 #1 country, #9 pop

"You Took All the Ramblin' out of Me"

Jerry Reed1972 #18 country

Jerry Reed

Induction Year: 2005