If you ever saw Jerry Reed picking and grinning, and took a look at his hand, that’s what you saw: unlike any of his predecessors, he was working all five fingers into the pluckage, and eventually Chet Atkins at RCA Victor talked him into cutting a record called “The Claw.” It was not a success, but it was a start.
And Reed went places, too, especially after Elvis picked up on his “Guitar Man” and “U. S. Male.” He had a solo hit in 1970 with a Cajun tale called “Amos Moses,” followed in 1972 by “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot.” Occasional appearances on Glen Campbell’s TV show got Reed a reading for Cledus “Snowman” Snow in Smokey and the Bandit, and thenceforth he mixed picking, songwriting and acting in whatever quantities happened to be coming along.
It was emphysema that got him yesterday, and therefore I’ve decided to remember the man with a spin of “Another Puff”, which flopped midchart in 1971. No one ever had so much fun talking about something that was going to kill him.