The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

September 3, 2008

A Little Eulogy for Jerry Reed

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 5:58 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Two eulogies in one day!

As a child of the 70s i have an almost unholy love for the movie Smokey & The Bandit.

Jerry Reed was a country musician in the 70s who wrote a number a rather fun songs but is most well known for the theme song to Smokey & The Bandit and his role in the film as Burt Reynold’s truck driving partner, The Snowman.

Ah, the 70s! Era of car chase movies, CB radios and national homage to the trucker. (In 5th & 6th grades I wanted to be a trucker. Not for a lifetime career, but i figured at the time i would do a whole bunch of different jobs in my life and trucker would be one of them. If things ever got too, too hard I still hold that torch…)

Before the 70s, in America, there were no official speed limits. States set there own, and the average was 70 or 75 miles per hour. Some didn’t even have any. But then came the great American oil crisis and the government felt it had to do something to reduce national fuel consumption. They declared that every state must set a 55 mile per hour speed limit. If they didn’t the government wouldn’t continue to give them federal highway money.

And so came the 55mph speed limit.

Many many many people were WAY pissed. Truckers especially. And so came pop culture responded, with a wave of speeding down the highway (usually chased by cops) movies. Smokey & The Bandit was the first. It tapped into popular resentment over the speed limit and was the first shot fired in a slew of similar themed films.

Cannonball Run anybody? Convoy? (the theme to smokey and the bandit, comin’ up for your enjoyment, is the greatest theme song of any of these movies, all of which had country trucker songs. The second greatest, and for a child of the 70s there is no contest about this, is the song ‘Convoy’. I know no one of my generation who grew up in any sort blue collar surrounding who doesn’t have a soft spot for ‘Convoy’…)

Hell, when i grew up, my favorite thing in the world, after playing music of course, is to drive across the US for weeks at a time.

In memory of Jerry Reed, i present to you an ‘East Bound & Down’ Smokey & the Bandit video. This is actually a bit of a remix, but it also sort of tells the film story.  So, without further ado:

AH! I can’t help myself!!! I just HAVE to include ‘Convoy’! Okay, listen, for thsoe who have no idea what i’m talking about, a convoy is when a bunch of truck drive together in a line. Obviously, the song is about the truckers attitudes towards the new 55mph speed limit. A whole convoy of 18 wheelers driving however fast they feel like, well, who’s gonna stop ’em?

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1 Comment »

  1. East Bound & Down is indeed the shizzle. I would also point your readers to some of his other badass works such as Lord Mr. Ford, Amos Moses, and The Claw. Finer country guitar work you shall seldom see.

    Comment by matthew — September 3, 2008 @ 6:36 pm | Reply


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