Click to hear "Remembering"

Click to hear "Barbara Allen"

March 19-21

Why today? The late, great Jerry Reed Hubbard would have been 73 years old on Saturday. He’s so great, in fact, that he deserves a twofer.

About the records
“Remembering,” RCA Victor 47-9493, recorded Jan. 8, 1968, at RCA’s “Nashville Sound” studios. Released March 1968, reached No. 14 on Billboard country chart. Also appeared on the album Nashville Underground, RCA Victor LSP/LPM-3978, released March 1968 (Billboard No. 31 country albums chart).
“Barbara Allen,” track on the album Jerry Reed Explores Guitar Country,” RCA Victor LSP-4204, released October 1969 (Billboard No. 41 country albums chart). Recorded May 22, 1969, at RCA’s “Nashville Sound” studios.

About the artist: Such a great talent. Unfortunately, he’s probably better remembered musically today for raucous numbers like “She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)” and “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot.” Those are good records, but to me they pale in comparison to his more introspective material from early in his 17-year RCA career. (Peter Cooper’s 2008 Tennessean obituary provides a nice summary of his entire career in music and film.)

Reed wrote “Remembering,” the lead-off track to his second album. Interesting the way Nashville Underground was programmed. The first side comprised Reed compositions only, all arranged with strings; the second-side selections showed off Reed’s guitar prowess on up-tempo numbers — two were his, the rest re-interpretations of others’ memorable songs.

“Barbara Allen” is the old English folk song, arranged wonderfully by Reed. It was part of the tremendous collection Jerry Reed Explores Guitar Country. Like Nashville Underground, every track is stellar. My father owned both records. I now have copies of my own — the earlier collection on LP, the latter as half of a CD double-album.

Yes, Reed was the Georgia-born “Alabama wild man.” But if it’s all the same, I’ll take his mellow side. And with that, I’ll see you Monday.

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