When You’re Hot, You’re Hot – Jerry Reed | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#9); 1971

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

“Guitar Man” Jerry Reed recorded his first record, If The Good Lord’s Willing (And The Creeks Don’t Rise), on big-time Capitol Records in 1955. Creeks and the follow-ups didn’t sell, however, label mate and rockabilly star Gene Vincent did record Jerry’s composition, Crazy Legs.

While Jerry was serving in the military, one of his tunes – That’s All You Gotta Do by Brenda Lee – hit #6. Jerry himself broke onto the country chart in 1967 with Guitar Man, then played on Elvis’ version the following year.

By 1969 Jerry was a regular in the country Top 20, and even cracked the pop Top 10 in early ’71 with Amos Moses. His next single made it two-in-a-row.

More notably, its title, When You’re Hot, You’re Hot, entered into the common language of American culture. Hot‘s place in music history was ensured when Jerry won a Grammy for the Best Male Country & Western Vocal Performance.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Chet Atkins

Lyrics Written by:

  • Jerry Reed