Artist: Jerry Reed

Amos Moses ~ Jerry Reed

Jerry Reed Hubbard, known professionally as Jerry Reed, was an American country music singer, innovative guitarist, songwriter, and actor who appeared in more than a dozen films.

Reed was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the second child of Robert and Cynthia Hubbard. Reed’s grandparents lived in Rockmart, GA and he would visit them from time to time. He was quoted as saying as a small child, while running around strumming his guitar, “I am gonna be a star. I’m gonna go to Nashville and be a star.” Reed’s parents separated four months after his birth, and he and his sister spent seven years in foster homes or orphanages. Reed was reunited with his mother and stepfather in 1944. Music and impromptu performances helped ease the stressful times the new family was under.

By high school, Reed was already writing and singing music, having picked up the guitar as a child. At age 18, he was signed by publisher and record producer Bill Lowery to cut his first record, “If the Good Lord’s Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise.” At Capitol Records, he recorded both country and rockabilly singles to little notice, until label mate Gene Vincent covered his “Crazy Legs” in 1958. By 1958, Lowery signed Reed to his National Recording Corporation, and he recorded for NRC as both artist and as a member of the staff band, which included other NRC artists Joe South and Ray Stevens.

Reed married Priscilla “Prissy” Mitchell in 1959. They had two daughters, Charlotte Elaine “Lottie” Reed Stewart, and Seidina Ann Reed Hinesley, born April 2, 1960. Priscilla Mitchell was a member of folk group the Appalachians (“Bony Moronie,” 1963), and was co-credited with Roy Drusky on the 1965 Country #1 “Yes Mr. Peters.”

In 1959, Reed hit the Billboard “Bubbling Under The Top 100″ and Cashbox Country chart with the single “Soldier’s Joy.” After serving two years in the military, Reed moved to Nashville in 1961 to continue his songwriting career, which had continued to gather steam while he was in the armed forces, thanks to Brenda Lee’s 1960 cover of his “That’s All You Got to Do.” He also became a popular session and tour guitarist. In 1962, he scored some success with the singles “Goodnight Irene” (as by Jerry Reed & the Hully Girlies, featuring a female vocal group) and “Hully Gully Guitar,” which found their way to Chet Atkins, who produced Reed’s 1965 “If I Don’t Live Up to It.”

Reed continued to have musical success all the way through the 1990s.

Reed died in Nashville, Tennessee, on September 1, 2008, of complications from emphysema.[1] The Associated Press wire service and CNN, however, reported the date of his death as August 31. In a tribute in Vintage Guitar Magazine, Rich Kienzle wrote that “Reed set a standard that inspires fingerstyle players the way Merle and Chet inspired him. Reed died on Conway Twitty’s birthday.”

Amos Moses

Amos Moses is the title of a song written and recorded by American country music artist Jerry Reed. It was released in October 1970 as the fourth and final single from the album, Georgia Sunshine. This record was Reed’s highest-charted single on Billboard Hot 100, peaking No. 8. “Amos Moses” was certified gold for sales of 1 million units by the Recording Industry Association of America. It also appeared on charts in several countries, and was No. 28 on Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1971.

The song focuses on a one armed Cajun alligator hunter named Amos Moses, who lives “about 45 minutes southeast of Thibodaux, Louisiana”. The song deals with Amos’s history, where his “daddy would use him for alligator bait” as well as his troubles with the law for illegal alligator hunting, including a description of how the town sheriff “snuck in the swamp gonna get the boy but he never come out again”.

Here comes Amos!
Now Amos Moses was a Cajun,
He lived by hisself in the swamp.
He hunted alligators for a livin,
He just knocked ‘em in the head with a stump.
The Louisiana law gonna get ya Amos
It ain’t legal hunting alligators down in the swamp, boy

Well everybody blames his old man,
For makin’ him mean as a snake,
When Amos Moses was a boy
His daddy would use him for alligator bait.
Tie a rope around his neck, and throw him in the swamp,
Alligator bit him in a Louisiana bayou

About 45 minutes southeast of Thibodeaux, Louisiana
Lived a man named Doc Milsap and his pretty wife Hanna
Well they raised up a son who could eat up his weight in groceries,
Named him after a man of the cloth,
Called him Amos Moses

Now the folks around south Louisiana
Said Amos was a hell of a man
He could trap the biggest, the meanest alligator
And just use one hand
That’s all he’s got left cause an alligator bit him
Left arm gone clean up to the elbow

Well the sheriff caught wind that Amos
Was in the swamp huntin’ alligator skins
So he snuck in the swamp, gonna getcha boy,
But he never come out again.
Well, I wonder where the Louisiana sheriff went to?
You can sure get lost in a Louisiana bayou!

About 45 minutes southeast of Thibodeaux, Louisiana
Lived a man named Doc Milsap and his pretty wife Hanna
They raised a son who could eat up his weight in groceries,
Named him after a man of the cloth,
Called him Amos Moses

Say I don’t know him Amos
Make it count, son!
About 45 minutes southeast of Thibodeaux, Louisiana…

  • Audio from the 1970 album, Georgia Sunshine:

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