Miscellaneous Rumbles

RIP, Gambler

1

Just saw it on Huffington... Kenny Rogers passed away tonight.

Another one gone.. 81 years young.

Starting to seriously dislike 2020, for a whole bunch of reasons.

3

Sad news indeed, RIP.

4

I have been a fan for literally as long as I can remember. My Dad had a Kenny Rogers LP at the home stereo (he only kept a few around) and, as a lover of country music, I’ve listened to Kenny my whole life.

5

One of the voices of my youth. He made a lot of people happy with his music, for a very log time. RIP.

6

Rest In Peace, Kenny. Thank you for your wonderful music for many years.

7

He did more than break even -- brought some mellow sounds to millions of fans.

8

Sorry to hear this. RIP, Kenny.

9

Sorry to hear that.

Any of you ever eat at his chicken restaurants he once had? I did in Las Vegas. It was good. Something like a Boston Market or Koo Koo Roo.

10

They were originally called Kenny Rogers Roasters. In the UK the word 'roger' is used as a slang term for what a daddy might do with a mummy. When this was pointed out to him on live TV he took it rather well.

11

Yes..once in Pahrump, Nevada about 25 years ago in what was the only casino in town.

Tasted O.K. but I remember it being a bit pricey for fried or roasted chicken or whatever it was called. I seem to remember that price was one reason why the chain failed although, despite his name being all over the place, I don't think that KR had a major stake in it.

12

Frank Lausche, born in Cleveland of Slovenian extraction, was governor of Ohio from 1945 - 47, again from '49 - '-57; then from '58 - '67, US Senator from Ohio.

In 1965, the Lausche Youth Building was constructed on the grounds of the Ohio Exposition Center in Columbus (site of the state fair). https://digital-collections...

In spring 1968 (near as I can reconstruct the timeline), at the age of 13 I went to my first live rock concert in the Lausche Building. The event was held in a smallish armory-sized room, good for maybe 500-1,000 teenagers standing on a concrete floor, with the bands performing on a raised stage at one end. A local opening band did "Sunshine of Your Love," which I already loved, and hearing it live burned a few synapses.

Another band on the bill was The Eighth Day, who had a regional hit at the time called "Hey Boy (This Girl's In Love With You)," on Kappa Records, produced in association with - and including vocals by - Ron Dante (the Archies, the Cufflinks, etc). The story of the record and the band is convoluted, told interestingly here: http://technimediastudios.c.... The song was on the radio at the time, I was standing up near the stage, the girls were dancing in their mini-skirts, and I caught a bangle from a disintegrating tambourine, which I kept for years as a memento.

I say "another band on the bill," because I don't recall if The Eighth Day or the other act was the headliner. We'll pretend it was the other act, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, when "Just Dropped In," with its flanged and twisted "yeah yeah, oh yeah," backwards psychedelic guitar, and truly disturbing key changes are all the world knew of Kenny Rogers - whose big, mellow everyman voice was perfect to humanize a song of discomfiting alienation and bring it home.

The TV version Scorpio links above (well worth the listen), from 1972, lacks the vocal effect and backwards guitar...but it rocks convincingly, and the guitarist does himself proud.

"Condition" was one great psychedelic folk-rocking masterpiece in a season when there were quite a few contenders - and, in retrospect, its evocation of what may be either a hallucinatory drug reaction or a depiction of anxiety pushed to the brink of psychosis (or both) is pretty harrowing, and seems bold for the radio of that era. We get references to The Byrds and, in the title, a clear inversion of the Tim Leary "turn on, tune in, drop out" formula of the era. And the reference to a "condition" goes some way toward medicalizing whatever it is the song describes. In a weird way, it's a handshake between the near-mainstreamed pill-popping, psycho-analyzing gestalt of the 50s and early 60s - and the hippie culture of recreational self-analysis and self-medication which was just going nationwide. In an even weirder way, there's a kind of double alienation: guy knows he has a condition, but he needs to check and see just what condition that condition is in.

Not that I gave any of that a thought at the time - nor would anyone, as there wasn't sufficient cultural context yet to recognize it. At that time, Kenny appeared to throw his lot in with the hippies, at least musically - even as the lyric and presentation of the song were more cautionary and despairing than celebratory of the New Freedoms. All I knew was that I liked what I heard, that the song - along with a good bunch of others around the same time - changed how I thought about music.

And then...nothing. The First Edition went on, but musically turned more toward country M-O-R. While the lyrics continued to pack a punch, I wasn't much interested musically in the likes of "Ruby."

Years later I won a Columbus radio drive-time pun contest (I think the prize was a pizza from Donato's) for a very long, very shaggy dog of a story explaining the prurient background of "You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Loose Seal."

Anyway. I'd never change stations when Kenny Rogers came on; regardless the musical context, I always admired his voice, his phrasing, his delivery, his way of making a song real, of somehow implying the story behind the story even if it wasn't clear from just the lyrics. But nothing he did afterward hit me with the impact of "Just Dropped In."

13

I saw him, also, when he was with the First Edition. it was 1969 and I was a Freshman at Louisiana Tech. it was a great concert. the group debuted the song, "Somethings Burning". seems like it was yesterday, not 50 years ago. Kenny had quite the career.

15

Kenny's stuff was great for the bar bands!

16

here's a song written by a guy in Baton Rouge that Kenny recorded.

17

Sad news, I admired his singing voice. RIP Kenny Rogers.

18

Did not know he played stand up in a jazz trio for years

19

Another nice little demo.... "Blue Skies", the Irving Berlin standard Willy popularized all over again some years ago, with Kenny on Bass and harmony.

20

Always had lots of respect for Kenny Rogers. RIP


Register Sign in to join the conversation