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Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins: “Mule Skinner Blues”

Jerry Reed is one of the few guitarists who could hold his own with Chet Atkins. Indeed, in the clip above, Reed leads. Reed was a very funny good old boy, who appeared in movies — including the Smokey and the Bandit series with Burt Reynolds — and television shows. Here he is on the old show Alice.

Reed had hits with She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft) and When You’re Hot, You’re Hot. Both tapped more into his comedic than musical talents. On the musical side, check out these beautiful versions of City of New Orleans and, again with Atkins, Summertime.

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.