Archive for Jerry Reed

A sign of the times

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2008 by macmystery
How is this guy not on the list?

How is this guy not on the list?

If you’ve ever read Rolling Stone or Entertainment magazine, or a newspaper for that matter, you’ve read one of those “Top 10 (fill-in-the-blank) of all-time” lists.

Top 100 songs, albums, guitarists, movies, actors, movie quotes, sex scenes, etc. of all-time.

Well, the Los Angeles Times Music Blog has issued it’s list of the top 15 songs of all-time about being broke. Given the state and direction of the economy, that’s to be expected.

Songs on the top-15 list include:

Blind Alfred Reed, “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?”

Geto Boys, “Ain’t With Being Broke”

The Clash, “Career Opportunities”

Crystal Waters, “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”

The Beatles, “Can’t Buy Me Love”

Bruce Springsteen, “Atlantic City”

Dolly Parton, “Coat of Many Colors”

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”

Loretta Lynn, “Coal Miner’s Daughter”

Sham 69, “Hey Little Rich Boy”

Bob Marley, “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)”

Pulp, “Common People”

Erik B. and Rakim, “Paid In Full”

Desmond Dekker, “The Israelites”

Ruben Blades, “Adan Garcia”

The best of the rest include: Soundtrack to “Annie,” “Hard Knock Life”; Roger Miller, “King of the Road”; Townes Van Zandt, “Marie”; Stevie Wonder, “I Wish”; Ray Charles, “I’m Busted”; Randy Newman, “Mr. President (Have Pity on the Working Man)”; Merle Haggard, “Workingman Blues”; Phil Collins, “Another Day In Paradise”; The Temptations, “Papa Was A Rolling Stone”; Gwen Guthrie, “Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent”; Elvis Presley, “In the Ghetto”; Run DMC, “Hard Times”; Donnie Hathaway, “Little Ghetto Boy”; Clarence Carter, “Patches”; Kanye West, “Spaceship”; Jerry Reed, “She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft.”

In the initial top 15, I’m very familiar with the songs by Reed, Springsteen, Marley, Parton, Lynn and CCR and understand their inclusion.

Reed’s song, recently covered by Springsteen on the Seeger Sessions, is as authentic as you get. Shortly after releasing it, his most well-known song, he died of STARVATION. I’d call that authentic.

I’m not sure the Beatles’ song fits here, and many of the others, I’m simply not familiar with.

It’s much the same for the next 16 listed … in fact, I know more songs on this list.

But just to show how these lists can be off … I think it’s virtually impossible to have a list of the best songs about being broke and not including some songs from Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. These artists chronicled the Great Depression and influenced the next generation of artists.

And how can there be so few blues artists on the list?

Just goes to show that these lists, as much as they reflect a consensus among a certain group of people, even more so they reflect the breadth, or lack thereof, of that group’s musical knowledge.

Here’s a couple songs from the list:

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R.I.P. Jerry Reed

Posted in Movies, Music with tags , , , , on September 3, 2008 by macmystery

Maybe if he had taken himself a little more seriously, more people would have know just how good Jerry Reed was with a guitar.  Of course, if he’d taken himself more seriously, he wouldn’t have been Jerry Reed.

Reed died Tuesday at the age of 71 after a long bout with emphysema. He was famous for being Burt Reynolds’ pal and for goofy country songs like “Amos Moses,” “She Got the Goldmine, I Got the Shaft,” “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” “The Bird” and, of course, the theme from his best-known movie, “East Bound and Down.”

Forget the rest. That movie is why I liked Jerry Reed. Not because he was going to win any Oscars. But you know how some songs, some movies, some TV shows just have a place in memories because of when you encountered them?

“Smokey and the Bandit” was that way for me.

It came out the last week of May in 1977. I was not quite 6, but this was the first non-kids movie I ever saw at a theater. That is, if by theater, you mean sitting in the back of a Dodge Dart at the drive-in with my parents.

(Coincidentally, another movie came out in that same week of May in 1977 that I would go on to see four times in the theaters as a 5/6-year-old before it’s run ended … “Star Wars.” I’ve seen it hundreds of times since, and now my son has already seen it dozens of times.)

Reed played the Snowman in “Smokey.” He drove the truck and had a basset hound with him. Only later would I realize how good a musician he was. A three-time Grammy winner, in fact.

Brad Paisley, a pretty good guitarist in his own right, as well as a singer of some Reed-like goofy songs, had nothing but nice things to say about Reed upon his passing:

“Anyone who picks a country guitar knows of his mastery of the instrument — one of the most inspirational stylists in the history of country music, a complete master. I’m in debt to him for paving the way for myself and the other guitarists of today.”

Reed was proudest of his musical abilities.

“I’m proud of the songs, I’m proud of things that I did with Chet (Atkins), I’m proud that I played guitar and was accepted by musicians and guitar players.”

I was going to include some clip of Reed playing my favorite of his, “Amos Moses,” but it seems all of his YouTube videos are suddenly “no longer available.”

So the best I could do was a short of him with fellow guitar legend Chet Atkins.