Tony Rice on Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed 1937-2008Many of our readers may have already learned of the passing of guitarist, comedian and actor Jerry Reed. He died on Monday (9/1) in hospice, suffering from emphysema.

Since the 1960s, he delighted audiences with his music and humor, eventually crossing over as a movie actor in the 1970s. His recordings with Chet Atkins are required listening for serious guitarists and several of his pieces are considered standards among finger style players.

His influence has been felt among bluegrass guitarists as well. Multiple IBMA Guitar Player of The Year Jim Hurst has claimed Reed as a major influence, and the godfather of flatpick guitar, Tony Rice, had a poignant message this morning on his web site.

"Jerry was the most amazing guitar player I have ever heard and an inspiration to my music over the years and I am greatly saddened by the loss.”

Here’s a wonderful video clip of Jerry with Mac Magaha on The Porter Wagoner Show in the late 1960s.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.