Country's Jerry Reed Dies at 71

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 2, 2008 5:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – Jerry Reed, a singer who became a good ol' boy actor in car chase movies like Smokey and the Bandit, has died of complications from emphysema at 71. As a singer in the 1970s and early 1980s, Reed had a string of hits that included "Amos Moses," "When You're Hot, You're Hot," "East Bound and Down," "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)" and "The Bird."

In the mid-'70s, he turned to movies, often co-starring with Burt Reynolds. Born in Atlanta, Reed learned to play guitar at age 8 when his mother bought him a $2 guitar and showed him how to play a G-chord. He dropped out of high school to tour with Ernest Tubb and Faron Young. At 17, he signed his first recording contract, with Capitol Records.