Saturday, December 02, 2006

Number 711 - Kenny Rogers


Number 711

Kenny Rogers

"The Gambler"

(1978)
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Genre:Country
It took several tries before Kenny Rogers became a star. As a member of the First Edition (and the New Christy Minstrels before that), he shared in some million-sellers, among them "Reuben James" and "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," an excellent Mel Tillis song about a disabled veteran. But superstardom lay ahead for this Texan, and it arrived in the late '70s. His experience with the two previous pop groups had prepared him well: he knew the easy listening audience was out there, and he supplied them with well done middle-of-the-road songs with a country flavor. Having gone solo, in 1976 Rogers charted with "Love Lifted Me." But it was with an outstanding song by writers Roger Bowling and Hal Bynum, "Lucille," that his star shot upward.

The rest (as they say) is history: award-winning duets with Dottie West and Dolly Parton, 12 TV specials, another song of the year with "The Gambler," "Daytime Friends," "Coward of the County," "We've Got Tonight," "Crazy," "Lady" (his first pop number one), etc., etc., etc. And that's just the musical side of Rogers. In 1980, the made-for-TV movie The Gambler blasted the competition, followed quickly by Coward of the County, then enough sequels to The Gambler to get him to Roman numeral IV. Throughout the '80s, Rogers remained a celebrity, even when his sales were declining. Even during the '90s, when he rarely charted, his name, face, and music were recognizable in a series of concerts, television specials, films, and even fast-food restaurants.

His crossover success is important -- his lush, easy listening productions and smooth croons showed that country stars could conquer the pop audience, if produced and marketed correctly. During the late '70s and early '80s, much of country radio was dominated either by urban cowboy or country-pop in the vein of Rogers' own singles. Between 1978 and 1980, he had five straight number one country singles -- "Love or Something Like It," "The Gambler," "She Believes in Me," "You Decorated My Life," "Coward of the County" -- most of which also reached the pop Top Ten. In addition to his solo hits, he had a series of Top Ten duets with Dottie West, including the number one hits "Every Time Two Fools Collide" (1978), "All I Ever Need Is You" (1979), and "What Are We Doin' in Love" (1981). Not only did his singles sell well, but so did his albums, with every record he released between 1976's Kenny Rogers and 1984's Once Upon a Christmas going gold or platinum .
By the beginning of the '80s, Rogers' audience was as much pop as it was country, and singles like his cover of Lionel Richie's "Lady" confirmed that fact, spending six weeks at the top of the pop charts. Rogers also began performing duets with pop singers like Kim Carnes ("Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer," number three country, number four pop, 1980) and Sheena Easton ("We've Got Tonight," number one country, number six pop, 1983). Rogers also began making inroads into television and film, appearing in a number of TV specials and made-for-TV movies, including 1982's Six Pack and two movies based on his songs "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County." Late in 1983, he left United Artists/Liberty for RCA Records, releasing a duet with Dolly Parton called "Islands in the Stream" as his first single for the label. Written by the Bee Gees and produced by Barry Gibb, the record became one of his biggest hits, spending two weeks on the top of both the country and pop charts.
Throughout the late '80s and '90s, Rogers kept busy with charity work, concerts, his fast-food chain Kenny Rogers' Roasters, television specials, movies, and photography, publishing no less than two books, -Kenny Rogers' America and -Kenny Rogers: Your Friends and Mine, of his photos. Rogers continued to record, releasing albums nearly every year, but they failed to break beyond his large, devoted fan base and only made a slight impact on the charts. With 1998's Christmas from the Heart, he established his own record label, Dreamcatcher; She Rides Wild Horses followed a year later, and There You Go Again was issued in mid-2000. A&E Live by Request appeared in 2001, followed by Back to the Well in 2003, Me & Bobby McGee in 2004, and Water & Bridges in 2006. ~ [David Vinopal & Stephen Thomas Erlewine]
For Lionel Richie see Number 982
For Barry Gibb see
Number 526 & #910
Rolling Stone has no view on Kenny Rogers (It might be a good thing, me thinks)
Yes Mr Rolling Stone ... Kenny Rogers, everyone but you, know that The Gambler is a classic song and very worthy of being in the "Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time" !
Crowbarreds choice for Website to find more on Kenny Rogers ... Click on the address http://www.topix.net/who/kenny-rogers
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (You cant be serious?) and the Album ranked at Number (Kenny Rogers?)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 68.1 out of 108 pts
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

underlay trademe

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