Guitar Man (song)

"Guitar Man"
Single by Jerry Reed
from the album The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of Jerry Reed
Released 1967 (1967)
Format 7" single
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:25
Label RCA Victor
Songwriter(s) Jerry Reed
Producer(s) Chet Atkins
Jerry Reed singles chronology
"If I Don't Live Up to It"

"Guitar Man"

"Tupelo Mississippi Flash"


"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[1] 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 The single spent one week at number one on the country chart.[2]

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.[3]

The Jesus and Mary Chain recorded a version of this song to the b-side of Reverence single, in 1992.

Personnel (Elvis Presley versions) [ edit ]

1967 version

1981 version

Chart performance [ edit ]

Jerry Reed [ edit ]

Chart (1967) Peak

U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 53

Elvis Presley [ edit ]

Chart (1967) Peak

U.S. Billboard Hot 100 43
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 42
Chart (1981) Peak

U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 28
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary Tracks 16
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Dutch Top 40 39
Australian Kent Music Report 73

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 8 - The All American Boy: Enter Elvis and the rock-a-billies. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 273.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 504.
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