Jerry Reed and Burt Reynolds were both national treasures as far as I'm concerned. It looks like Midland would agree, and after ripping through a twanged-up version of Reed's "East Bound and Down" from Smokey and The Bandit on the 52nd Annual CMA Awards, a studio version of the cover was immediately released. Accompanying the YouTube stream (which you can check out below), the group issued the following statement: "Eastbound & Down is a balls to the wall, honky tonk, fast tempo tornado of a song that was a great challenge to master and to make some tweaks to make it our own...It’s now one of our favorite songs to perform live and we can only hope that The Guitar Man is smiling somewhere up above with approval." I do believe a tip of the cowboy hat is in order, now crank this one up!
When it comes to the blockbuster films of 1977, if you're like me, the one that comes to mind is an out-of-nowhere film from a galaxy far, far away. Indeed, it was May 25, 1977 when STAR WARS first hit theater screens, but just two days later came the release of the year's second-biggest grosser - and another movie very near and dear to me: Hal Needham's SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT. This May, TCM Big Screen Classics and Fathom Events will bring SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT back to theaters, as it races into cinemas for a special two-night 40th Anniversary Event, May 21 & May 24!