RIP Jerry Reed, The Man With the Golden Thumb

One of the first store-bought records I remember owning was a Christmas present–Jerry Reed’s 1982 album The Man With The Golden Thumb. Upon hearing of his passing today, it was the first thing I thought of.
Reed had a long career even before that album, and continued producing albums and hits for a while after, but I think it was a high water mark for him, creatively. It contains one of his biggest hits, the comedic “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”, which is probably why I wanted it at the time. However, it also included a gutsy rendition of Clarence Carter’s Patches” and other more obscure album cuts like “Love Is Muddy Water” and “Love Being Your Fool.”
Reed’s music always had an element of soul, the Bobby Womack kind of country soul, and the fact that this album was recorded at Muscle Shoals may have had something to do with its intrisically soulful sound. He was also an in-demand guitarist, something he showcased on several albums with Chet Atkins.
His acting roles in movies like the Smokey and the Bandit series may have exposed him to a larger audience, but I don’t think Reed’s music was ever much better than it was on The Man With The Golden Thumb. Here’s a live clip of “She Got The Goldmine”:

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One thought on “RIP Jerry Reed, The Man With the Golden Thumb

  1. Amen, brother Oliver. I too remember that record, for I too received it as a birthday or Christmas gift, and to this day it languishes in a box in my basement (who’s got a record player anymore?) I’ve just spent the last hour watching and listening to Jerry’s YouTube videos, and thank goodness there is a clip for “Golden Thumb,” a song I always loved. RIP Jerry. Thanks for posting!

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