Sep 2, 2008
When You're Hot You're Hot: RIP Jerry Reed
As much as I enjoy country music, I admit to being far from a connoisseur of it, and where Jerry Reed is concerned, I of course remember him most from the movies. Reed, who died today of emphysema at the age of 71, admit that his acting was questionable, citing his onscreen motivation as "money", had a string of hits in the 1970's that crossed over from the country charts into pop culture, including "When You're Hot You're Hot" (which was the main theme of WSEE-TV 35 in Erie when I was a kid), and was quite a popular figure on the big and small screen during the "good ole boy" craze of the 1970's.
Just this summer, I had been writing about The Concrete Cowboys -a 1979 TV-movie which spawned a short-lived series of the same name- for inclusion in an upcoming ESR vidcast, and was pleasantly reminded of how much of an engaging performer he was on screen- doubly so when Jonathan programmed High Ballin' this summer. Reed was perhaps a bit too self-deprecating of his worth, because as an actor he had a unique charisma and vitality. Of course he is best known for the Smokey and the Bandit pictures, and before the "good ole boy" genre finally wheezed its last breath in the 1980's, he directed himself in What Comes Around, another film we'll be talking about at a future date. Later in life he appeared in Bat 21, and the Adam Sandler vehicle The Waterboy. On screen or stage, he was a truly engaging performer, and he will be missed.