Guitar Man

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About Guitar Man

"Guitar Man" is a 1967 song written by Jerry Reed, who took his version of it to number 53 on the Billboard country music charts in 1967. Soon after Reed's single appeared, Elvis Presley recorded the song with Reed playing the guitar part, and it became a minor country and pop hit. According to Peter Guralnick in his two-volume biography of Presley, the singer had been trying unsuccessfully to record the tune, but wasn't happy with the groove. He said something to the effect of: "Get me that redneck picker who's on the original tune", and his staff brought Reed into the studio - who nailed it on the first take (though this romantic account is contradicted by a studio tape of the session that documents the first, second and fifth takes which are available on video-sharing website youtube. com). The single spent one week at number one on the country chart. Thirteen years later, "Guitar Man" was re-recorded in a new electric arrangement, with Presley's original vocal left intact, and it was the last of his eleven number one country hits. The record also peaked at number twenty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and was his last top-40 pop hit in the U. S. The Jesus and Mary Chain recorded a version of this song to the b-side of Reverence single, in 1992. 


Year:
1985
64 Views

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Well, I quit my job down at the car wash
Left my mama a goodbye note
By sundown I'd left Kingston
With my guitar under my coat
I hitchhiked all the way down to Memphis
Got a room at the YMCA
For the next three weeks, I went huntin' them nights
Just lookin' for a place to play
Well, I thought my pickin' would set 'em on fire
But nobody wanted to hire a guitar man

Well, I nearly 'bout starved to death down in Memphis
I run outta money and luck
So I bought me a ride down to Macon, Georgia
On a overloaded poultry truck
I thumbed on down to Panama City
Started pickin' out some o' them all night bars
Hopin' I could make myself a dollar
Makin' music on my guitar
I got the same old story at them all night piers
There ain't no room around here for a guitar man
We don't need a guitar man, son

So I slept in the hobo jungles
Roamed a thousand miles of track
Till I found myself in Mobile Alabama
At a club they call Big Jack's
A little four-piece band was jammin'
So I took my guitar and I sat in
I showed 'em what a band would sound like
With a swingin' little guitar man
Show 'em, son

If you ever take a trip down to the ocean
Find yourself down around Mobile
Oh make it on out to a club called Jack's
If you got a little time to kill
Just follow that crowd of people
You'll wind up out on his dance floor
Diggin' the finest little five piece group
Up and down the Gulf of Mexico
Guess who's leadin' that five-piece band
Well, wouldn't ya know, it's that swingin' little guitar man
Yeah yeah, guitar man, hahaha

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Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed Hubbard (March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008), known professionally as Jerry Reed, was an American country music singer, guitarist, and songwriter, as well as an actor who appeared in more than a dozen films. His signature songs included "Guitar Man," "A Thing Called Love," "Alabama Wild Man," "Amos Moses", "When You're Hot, You're Hot" (which garnered a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance), "Ko-Ko Joe", "Lord, Mr. Ford", "East Bound and Down" (the theme song for the 1977 blockbuster Smokey and the Bandit, in which Reed co-starred), "The Bird," and "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)". more »

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Written by: Jerry Reed Hubbard

Lyrics © HORI PRO ENTERTAINMENT GROUP

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