Jerry Reed performs “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot ” Live On Hee Haw 1973.

Reached # 1 of the US Hot Country Songs charts, for five weeks, and remained on the charts for a total of 15 weeks. It also reached # 1 from the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts. The song was included in Jerry's ninth studio album, When You're Hot, You're Hot (RCA 1971)

YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel
YouTube When The Cowboy Sings Channel

When You’re Hot, You’re Hot

Lp cover Jerry Reed ( RCA 1971 )
Lp cover Jerry Reed ( RCA 1971 )

“When You’re Hot, You’re Hot”, a song written and recorded by Jerry Reed for the RCA label, December 23, 1970, RCA Victor Studio, 800 17th Ave. South, Nashville, TN, in the same session these two songs were also recorded: “With you (missing you)” and “Another puff”. Jerry was accompanied in the recording session by: Pete Wade (guitar), Bobby Dyson (bass), Ralph Gallant (drums) and Larry Butler (piano). With the production of Chet Atkins, the song was released in March 1971, and reached # 1 of the US Hot Country Songs charts, on June 19, 1971, for five weeks, and remained on the charts for a total of 15 weeks. On July 10, 1971, it also reached # 1 from the Canadian RPM Country Tracks charts. It was the first number one of Jerry’s career.

The song was included in Jerry’s ninth studio album, When You’re Hot, You’re Hot (RCA 1971), on June 12, 1971, the album reached # 2 on the US Top Country Albums charts, remaining in the charts a total of 31 weeks, it was Jerry’s most successful album.

About the song:

The song describes an illegal game of craps being played in a back alley. The singer is having a streak of good luck against his two friends, winning several games in a row. In the second verse, a police officer discovers the game, arrests the participants and “take (s) all that money for evidence.” Undaunted, the singer believes his good luck streak will continue and tells the cop “when you’re hot, you’re hot.”

The third verse describes the trio in court to face the punishment, and to the singer’s delight, he finds out that the judge presiding over the case is one of his old fishing buddies — who, as it turns out, he owes money. When the singer attempts to bribe the judge by offering to pay back the money in exchange for a lighter sentence, the judge grins and does the opposite: gives the other two small fines, but sentences the singer to 90 days in jail with the response “ when you’re hot, you’re hot! “

The song ends with the singer going into a tirade against the judge, telling him that if he weren’t in his black robe, I’d have been physically attacked, and that someone would have to “collect my welfare, pay for my Cadillac. “ The judge immediately declares the singer to be in contempt of court.

Single cover Jerry Reed ( RCA 1971 )
Single cover Jerry Reed ( RCA 1971 )

 

Versions:

Nat Stuckey 1971 (RCA)
Kings Road 1972 (Pickwick)
Taxi Gang featuring Sly & Robbie 1986 (Mango) Instrumental

 





Jerry Reed – When You’re Hot, You’re Hot Lyrics

Well, now me and Homer Jones and Big John Talley
Had a big crap game goin’ back in the alley
And I kept rollin’ them sevens, winnin’ all them pots

My luck was so good, I could do no wrong
I just kept on rollin’ and controllin’ them bones
And finally they just threw up their hands and said
“When you hot, you hot”, I said, “Yeah”

When you’re hot, you’re hot
And when you’re not, you’re not
Put all the money in an’ let’s roll ’em again
When you’re hot, you’re hot
La la la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la la, when you’re hot, you’re hot

Well, now every time I rolled them dice I’d win
And I was just gettin’ ready to roll ’em again
When I heard somethin’ behind me
I turned around and there was a big old cop

He said “Hello, boys”, and then he gave us a grin an’ said
“Look like I’m gonna hafta haul you all in
An’ keep all that money for evidence”
I said, “Well, son when you hot, you hot”, he said, “Yeah”

When you’re hot, you’re hot
And when you’re not, you’re not
You can ‘splain it all down at City Hall
I say, yeah, when you’re hot, you’re hot
La la la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la la, when you’re hot, you’re hot

Well, when he took us in to court, I couldn’t believe my eyes
The judge was a fishin’ buddy that I recognized
I said, “Hey, judge, old buddy, old pal
I’ll pay ya that hundred I owe ya, if you’ll get me outta this spot”

So he gave my friends a little fine to pay
He turned around an’ grinned at me an’ said
“Ninety days, Jerry, when you hot, you hot”
An’ I said, “Thanks a lot”

When you’re hot, you’re hot
And when you’re not, you’re not
He let my friends go free and throwed the book at me
He said, “Well, when you’re hot, you’re hot”

I said, “Well, I’ll tell ya one thing, judge, old buddy, old pal
If you wasn’t wearin’ that black robe
I’d take out in back of this courthouse
And I’d try a little bit of your honor on”

“You understand that, you hillbilly?
Who gonna collect my welfare?
Pay for my Cadillac?
Whadda you mean ‘Contempt of Court’?
Judge, oh, judge, judgie poo”

Single Jerry Reed ( RCA 1971 )
Single Jerry Reed ( RCA 1971 )

Miquel Batlle
mbatllegarriga@gmail.com