Wednesday, September 3, 2008

East Bound and Down

East bound and down
Loaded up and truckin'.
We gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound just watch ol'Bandit run!

Today, country music lost a legend. He may not have had the fanfare that came with the likes of Waylon and Willie, but he was a great one nonetheless. Jerry Reed passed away today at the age of 71. You may not know him, but maybe you know his name. If not, you hopefully know those lyrics to his famous song "East Bound and Down". Jerry Reed was a disciple of the Nashville legend, Chett Atkins. Known as the "Guitar Man", Reed wrote songs that were recorded by everyone from Nat King Cole to Elvis. He many times had a funny side to his songs, hence his collaborations with the likes of Ray Stevens. The boys of Rollin' in the Hay are hanging their heads low tonight. "East Bound and Down" was a staple of their set. I'm sure that Rick and the boys are pouring one out for Jerry.

I will always remember Jerry Reed by this song and movie role to which it coincided. A longtime friend of Burt Reynolds, Reed was given the role of Cledus in the classic flick, "Smokey and the Bandit". If you've never seen this movie, it's no "Schindler's List", but it hits a nerve in the south with NASCAR/bootleg themes. The premise is simple: a wealthy Texas man is trying to get a truckload of Coors Light to Atlanta, GA. Coors Light was not sold East of the Mississippi in the 70's. This tycoon pays Bandit (Reynolds) to facilitate the transportation of this truckload. With Bandit driving ahead in his Trans Am to ward off the Police/State Troopers (Smokey), there was only one man fit to drive the truck, Cledus (Jerry Reed) and his dog, Fred. I'm reminded of the people of the Southeast's battle to get beer from the New Belgium Brewery in Colorado the past 10 years (OK, maybe this is not a big issue to everyone in the SE. Mainly, I'm speaking of my immediate friends who really wanted Fat Tire and didn't want to go to Arkansas to get it. Well, we've finally got it. Mission accomplished, Bandit.) So long, Jerry. We'll see you down the road....

"The boys are thirsty in Atlanta, and there's beer in Texarkana"

"East Bound and Down" by Jerry Reed - (MP3)


Will said...

I'm proud to have my 1st Mp3 posted for download on this blog be "East Bound and Down"!

jccvi said...

My oldest memory of Jerry Reed was of his appearance on Scooby Doo singing a song with the chorus "pretty Mary Sunshine, she's alright with me." Pre-google, I'd get that song in my head fairly regularly, but had no idea who was on Scooby Doo singing it.

Thank you internets.