One interesting Merle Haggard story that seems to have gone under-reported in the Internet age is that Merle Haggard was the pick by Burt Reynolds to play his semi truck-driving sidekick “The Snowman” in the legendary Smokey and The Bandit movie series.
Before we get too far into 2019, let take time to remember the country music great we lost along the way in 2018, from bona fide legends like Roy Clark, to those taken tragically too soon like Daryle Singletary, Red Dirt’s Brandon Jenkins, to George Strait drummer Mike Kennedy.
Brandon Jenkins, Burt Reynolds, Daryle Singletary, Dave Rowland, DJ Fontana, Ed King, Floyd Parton, Freddie Hart, Glenn Snoddy, Hazel Smith, Herb Remington, Jerry Chesnut, Jimmy Work, Joe Osborn, Kenny O'Dell, Lari White, MIke Kennedy, Randall Clay, Randy Scruggs, Rich Hall, Ronnie Prophet, Roy Clark, Sammy Allred, Tony Joe White, Wayne Secrest
By the bullet points on the resume, Burt Reynolds had little to do with country music. Not since Gram Parsons did a figure in American pop culture act like a bigger bridge to country music, and proved how it could be cool. For most famous humans, the myth precedes them. But with Burt Reynolds, the myth really was the man.