Performer Jerry Reed dead at 71

Sept. 2, 2008 at 9:47 PM
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NASHVILLE, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. singer, songwriter and some-time actor Jerry Reed reportedly has died of emphysema at the age of 71.

The Tennessean reported Tuesday Reed died Sunday just before midnight at his Brentwood home. The Nashville newspaper also said he had been under hospice care.

E! Online said the Atlanta-born performer appeared in five movies and two TV shows with Burt Reynolds, including all three "Smokey and the Bandit" flicks, the movies "Gator" and Stroker Ace" and the series "B.L. Stryker" and "Evening Shade." He had a supporting role in Adam Sandler's 1998 big-screen comedy "The Waterboy," as well.

Reed, the three-time Grammy Award winner known as "The Guitar Man," also contributed the song "East Bound and Down," which became the down-home anthem for the popular "Smokey" movies.

Among his other hit songs were "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)" and "When You're Hot, You're Hot," E! Online said.

"All of us pickers owe him so much," singer and musician Brad Paisley told The Tennessean. "Jerry Reed's instrumentals are required learning if you want to play country guitar. And every move he made was to entertain, and make the world more fun. Because he was such a great, colorful personality with his acting and songs and entertaining, sometimes people didn't even notice that he was just about the best guitarist you'll ever hear."

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