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“And the Best You Can Hope For Is to Die in Your Sleep”, Kenny Rogers

Reggae Loves Country

Back in 2014 a reggae singer, named Busy Signal (Glendale Goshia Gordon) performed this popular Kenny Rogers hit to a large Jamaican crowd. And don’t be fooled by Busy Signal.s respect for Country music. In reality, he is a street tough, Jamaican dancehall, reggae singer with a long line of savvy hits credited to his name. His live performance of The Gambler, though 100 per cent sincere is a bit of an anomaly. And don’t forget that Bob Marley’s first recorded hit was a C & W hit standard, Another Cup of Coffee. So all in all, Jamaican admiration for Nashville is real.

 

 

Breaking Even

Kenny Rogers died on Friday of natural causes. Not a bad time to pass on, considering that this Corona Virus thing is just really getting ramped up and nobody knows how bad things are going to get. Then there is the flip side, ole Kenny won’t be around to see how this pandemic ends. Just lucky I guess. For it doesn’t look good no matter how you slice the pie. Perhaps this is a good time to quote Mr. Rogers from his megahit, The Gambler.

“And the Best You Can Hope For Is To Die In Your Sleep”.

A Most influential Singer/Songwriter

Kenny Rogers first gained national recognition with The First edition, a kind of whacked out, Hippie, Acid-rock band that had a few big hits in the late 60s and even made it onto the Smothers Brothers Show. Below, you can see the band performing their big counterculture hit, Just Dropped In,.

 

 

Kenny’s Transformation

Even while still performing for the First Edition, Kenny’s transformation from rock to country was plenty evident. The song that did this was Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town (1969). Released, after Just Dropped In, this pop hit, first penned and recorded by Mel Tillis in1967, hit a nerve among the general public that all but guarantied a crossover to Country & Western. The story about a disable Vietnam Vet and unfaithful love resonated all across the Billboard charts, even despite the fact that it had been recorded before by Waylon Jennings and Mel Tillis.

Kenny Rogers in 1997

 

 

A Nashville Fixture

Kenny Rogers released his first solo album in 1976, eventually becoming a stalwart of the Nashville music scene. Since then he has worked with such music legends as Dolly Parton, Lionel Ritchie and Dottie West. Kenny passed away this past Friday. His death was reportedly caused by natural causes, a coincidence that has allowed commentators to liberally quote from his classic song, The Gambler. Since Friday, Kenny’s death has been marked with headlines like Kenny Rogers Runs Out of Aces, The Gambler, He Finally Broke Even or the one I used in this article

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