Last year, our then-12-year-old son explored a display case full of bongs and pipes. This year, he explored the case again, curious about rolling papers. This year, he also tried on some natty hats. Yes, Evan is growing up, no longer the little boy you see above.
Two Jerry Reed albums were among my haul from the used vinyl downstairs. I was greatly relieved to read the back cover on one, 1971’s “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot.”
Nashville songwriter Bob Tubert’s liner notes, entitled “My Friend Jerry Reed the Worried Guitarist,” confirmed my backstage experience with Reed at a show in 1979.
Then only 21 and still a fairly green reporter, I wrote that I’d found Reed intensely focused as he prepared for his show, anything but relaxed. When you’ve been writing for as long as I have, you dread digging out 30-year-old stories. Did I get it right, I wonder?
“Jerry Reed worries a great deal. …
“He worries about whether his friends are getting along. He worries whether he has remembered to thank everyone who ever helped him. He worries whether he is doing all he can to help others. He worries about Prissy and the kids. He worries about his producer, Chet Atkins. He worries about ‘The Glen Campbell Show’ and whether or not he is living up to the faith put in him when they made him a regular on that network show, and he worries about his fans and whether he is doing what they expect of him.
“He has always worried, this Georgia boy the whole world now claims as its native son, but in his worrying he has relieved the worries of a great many people. … The only thing that worries his friends is how come it took the rest of the world so long to find out.”
Intense, focused … and, yeah, worried. Good thing, too. It brought us these tunes, both from albums found downstairs at Electric Fetus.
“Ko-Ko Joe,” Jerry Reed, from “The Best of Jerry Reed,” 1971. More country-funk guitar from the 1971 album of the same name. Both are out of print, but this cut is available on “The Essential Jerry Reed,” a 1995 CD compilation.
“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” Jerry Reed, from “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” 1971. Also out of print, but this cut is available on “Guitar Man,” a 1997 import CD compilation.
Mel Tillis wrote it. Kenny Rogers and the First Edition had a hit with it. Lots of people have covered it.