Every #1 Country Single of the Eighties: Jerry Reed, “She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”

“She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)”

Jerry Reed

Written by Tim DuBois


#1 (2 weeks)

September 11 – September 18, 1982

This 1982 hot streak keeps going with yet another classic single from a Hall of Fame artist.

Jerry Reed’s biggest hits have always bordered on novelty, but the pain in this one is too palpable for it to be reduced to a comedy track.   

Future Arista Nashville honcho Tim DuBois penned this divorce track, which is one of the best country records ever made about the subject.  Reed’s inherent wit makes him the perfect artist for delivering this particular lyric about a man who really should’ve just learned to cook:

She got the gold mine! I got the shaft.

They split it right down the middle,

And then they give her the better half.

Well, it all sounds sorta funny,

But it hurts too much to laugh.

The coda is a wonderful throwback to his classic hit “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” with Reed arguing with the judge as the song fades out.  

“Shaft” led to a minor revival at radio for Jerry Reed, as it was followed by the top five hit “The Bird,” the top fifteen hit “Down On the Corner,” and the top twenty hit “Good Ole Boys.”   After one more chart hit, Reed’s run at radio came to an end.

Reed continued to tour and appear in films, while also recording occasionally. In 1993, he earned a Grammy for his collaboration with Chet Atkins, Sneakin’ Around.   Reed passed away in 2008.  Nine years later, he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)” gets an A. 

Every No. 1 Single of the Eighties

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  1. I love when he cries out in frustration, “Why didn’t I just learn how to cook?!!??!!”

    An outrageously fun and well written sing. Reed had a manic energy all his own when he he found his groove.

  2. Arguably a lot of Jerry’s hits may have been quasi-novelty records. But one can’t forget that early on in his career he had the good luck (or as much of that as you could have when dealing with The Colonel) of having Elvis record two of your songs (“Guitar Man”; “U.S. Male”), and also putting your guitar skills onto another pair of Elvis’ recordings, “Big Boss Man” (by blues legend Jimmy Reed, no relation to Jerry), and “Too Much Monkey Business” (the 1956 Chuck Berry song).

    And to be fully honest, “She Got The Goldmine” is what we could call black comedy with a C&W touch–painful but in a funny way, and vice versa (IMHO).

  3. Maybe some other artist could’ve made this song a hit but nobody could’ve matched Jerry performance. This is a great example of a novelty song done right. Never fails to make me smile.

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