Entertainment

Inside Burt Reynolds' Forgotten 1973 Country Album 'Ask Me What I Am'

(AP Photo/Harold Filan, File)

Burt Reynolds was one of the most charismatic actors of his generation. He was the leading box office draw for five years in a row during the '70s and was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Boogie Nights. His career was full of films as fun as he was, often action films where he would perform his own stunts. But outside of Hollywood, did you know that Reynolds dabbled in the world of country music?

Before he became a bonafide movie star, Reynolds decided to give music a try. In 1973, he released a country album with Mercury Records called Ask Me What I Am. Produced by Bobby Goldsboro and Buddy Killen, no single was ever released to promote the album. And unfortunately, it was widely panned by the critics. Critic Robert Christgau gave it an E+, saying "The plus is because the title lets everyone make up his or her own joke." His debut album would be his last.

But Reynolds didn't let the flop get him down. He recorded a song for Smokey and the Bandit II, "Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial." While not a massive hit, it reached 51 on the country charts. 

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Reynolds went on to star alongside Dolly Parton in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The film features a duet between Reynolds and the country star, "Sneakin' Around" and went on to become a cult classic. 

Reynolds was also romantically linked to Tammy Wynette in the mid-70s. According to Loretta Lynn, Wynette hid from Reynolds ex, actress Dinah Shore, during one of Lynn's concerts in Los Angeles. She told NPR that Wynette hid in her dressing room.

"She says, 'Now, you make sure I don't run into Dinah Shore.' I said, 'How come, Tammy?' She says, 'Well, I've been goin' with Burt.' I said, 'Oh, my God! A good friend you are to Dinah!' It was really funny. We didn't have no trouble that night, but Tammy left her hat." 

Wynette and Reynolds were only romantically linked for a few years but remained good friends until her death. The Washington Post even reported that he gifted her children horses at some point during their long friendship. 

Reynolds connection to the country music world continued when he starred alongside Reba McEntire in the made for television film, The Man from Left Field, which he also directed. They also remained friends and McEntire posted on Instagram after his death in 2018.

And let's not forget about Jerry Reed who starred opposite Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit. He also wrote and performed the film's theme, "East Bound and Down" which was a huge hit for Reed, reaching number two on the country songs chart.

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Inside Burt Reynolds' Forgotten 1973 Country Album 'Ask Me What I Am'