Jerry Reed Hubbard (March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008), known professionally as Jerry Reed, was an American country music singer, country guitarist, session musician, songwriter, and actor who appeared in more than a dozen films. As a singer, he was known for "(Who Was the Man Who Put) The Line in Gasoline"; "Lord, Mr. Ford (What Have You Done)"; "Amos Moses"; "When You're Hot, You're Hot," for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1972; and "East Bound and Down," the theme song for the film Smokey and the Bandit, in which he also co-starred.
Reed was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the second child of Robert and Cynthia Hubbard. Reed's grandparents lived in Rockmart, GA and he would visit them from time to time. He was quoted as saying as a small child, while running around strumming his guitar, "I am gonna be a star. I'm gonna go to Nashville and be a star." Reed's parents separated four months after his birth, and he and his sister spent seven years in foster homes or orphanages. Reed was reunited with his mother and stepfather in 1944. Music and impromptu performances helped ease the stressful times the new family was under.
By high school, Reed was already writing and singing music, having picked up the guitar as a child. At age 18, he was signed by publisher and record producer Bill Lowery to cut his first record, "If the Good Lord's Willing and the Creek Don't Rise." At Capitol Records, he recorded both country and rockabilly singles to little notice, until label mate Gene Vincent covered his "Crazy Legs" in 1958. By 1958, Lowery signed Reed to his National Recording Corporation, and he recorded for NRC as both artist and as a member of the staff band, which included other NRC artists Joe South and Ray Stevens.