That Dandy Classic Track of the Day #26

When You’re Hot, You’re Hot – Jerry Reed (When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, 1971)

Starting with that boogie, woogie guitar and Jerry saying “Son!”, this little ol’ beauty of a song was #1 on the country charts and crossed over to the pop charts to go Top 10 (#9) on the Billboard Singles chart in 1971.

In classic story-song style Jerry sets the scene over a steady, charming beat by describing the scene of him playing a game of craps in a back-alley somewhere where he’s on fire. He gets on a roll and the jolly back-up singers drive home the point that “when you’re hot, you’re hot”. Before long he gets happened upon by “a big ol’ cop!” who basically steals his ill-gotten gains and takes him in to the county jail. This time when he hits the chorus of “when you hot, you hot, when you’re not, you’re not!” it’s in an ironic, sardonic way.

Finally we reach the climax when he reaches the courtroom and his fishing buddy is the judge. But, instead of letting his friend off the hook he “throws the book at me” for the ultimate payoff. The song fades off as Reed bemoans his swift turn of lady luck and all in about two minutes!

I’ve always loved the sense of humor Reed injects while painting the scene. It’s what separated him from so many of his brethren. This is as good as it gets from a little comedy with your music and no one could deliver like Jerry Reed could, God rest his soul.

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