R.I.P Jerry Reed, “East Bound And Down”, Smokey And The Bandit

Back in May 1977 my dad told my brother and I that we were going to see a “sleeper” film at the theater. Star Wars was out the same week, but we would have to wait months to see that movie. Instead of an adventure filled with Rebels, Imperials, droids, and Stormtroopers, we were thrust instead into the C.B./10-4/Trucker/”F-The-County Mounties” world of Smokey And The Bandit. Sure Burt Reynolds and Sally Field were great in the movie, but for some reason, as 7-year old, I related to Snowman, played by Jerry Reed. He was the guy who drove the truck filled with Coors beer that Burt Reynolds was so eagerly trying to blaze a trail for in his black Trans-Am. For some reason, I saw a lot of myself in Reed’s character. Even at that age, I knew I would never lead the pack or get the girl like Burt Reynolds. Instead, I had the sneaking suspicion that I would be a “right hand man” kind of guy, who would get beat-up in bars of life, but still remain loyal to the cause…just like Snowman. Jerry Reed also wrote the theme song, “East Bound And Down” , one of the greatest theme songs ever recorded. Just last Saturday, out of the blue, I found myself singing this theme song to myself and thinking “man, wasn’t this song just f*ckin’ great.” Yes it was, and so was Jerry Reed. You can hear both below.


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