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Country Singer Jerry Reed Passes Away at 71

September 3, 2008 10:52 AM ET

Grammy-winning country singer and Burt Reynolds' Smokey and the Bandit cohort Jerry Reed died of complications from emphysema on Monday. He was 71. As a songwriter, Reed penned songs for Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and scores more. In 1971, Reed won a Grammy for his own "When You're Hot, You're Hot." Reed won three Grammys over his career, including two for collaborations with Chet Atkins. Reed's segue into films helped inspire his Nashville peers like Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers to try their hand at acting. In addition to his turn in the Smokey series, Reed was also immortalized as the rival coach in Adam Sandler's The Waterboy and the "Phantom of the Country Music Hall" episode of The New Scooby-Doo Movies.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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