55. Kenny Rogers (For His Music, Not Necessarily the Roasted Chicken)

14 Jan

I am not ashamed to admit it: I heart Kenny Rogers. My first real memory of the silver-haired sensation was from a road trip with my dad when I was around nine or 10. I don’t know why we set off for a 6 hour round trip to Oxford, MS, and back with only one cassette tape. Clearly, I was not in charge of the music back then. Lucky for me, the tape was my mom’s “Kenny Roger’s Greatest Hits” and not something from my dad’s copious Anne Murray collection.

The thing about Kenny Rogers is that he really makes you feel for the characters in his songs. How can you not despise that cold-hearted, runaway wife Lucille? Or that trampy, taking-love-to-town Ruby? Or those sadistic Gatlin brothers for taking turns with Becky?

Then there are the love songs. Swoon! Who wouldn’t want to be his “Lady”? I mean, he’s your night in shining armor and he loves you! And you decorated his life by painting your love all over his heart. He told you one day if you were his girl, he would change the world with his little songs. And he’s so glad he stayed right there with you through the years!

I’m not saying Kenny can do no wrong. There was that unfortunate “Islands in the Stream” incident in which he and Dolly sung about riding it together, uh huh/making love with each other, uh huh. Two words: Nuh uh!

My mom adored Kenny, so much so that she saw him in concert every chance she got. Then walked on air for days afterward. She did not, however, replace her Magnum P.I. poster with one of Kenny. Some things are sacred, people!

I have long espoused the theory that my stereo’s cd shuffler (and now my ipod shuffle) is possessed. Many a time, it has played exactly the song I need to hear. About seven years ago at the height of my Internet dating madness, it played “The Gambler.” Call me slow, but I hadn’t realized that the song is SO not about playing poker. Maybe I’d have been enlightened had I seen the made-for-tv movie. Alas…

After my gambler aha moment, I made it my mission to “know when to walk away/know when to run.” Now that I think about it, I usually know when to walk away. So I suppose my mission is to actually do it. I’m also working on my poker face.

What’s your favorite Kenny song/memory?

6 Responses to “55. Kenny Rogers (For His Music, Not Necessarily the Roasted Chicken)”

  1. salamanderart January 26, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    We’ve even been watching The Gambler on Netflix! And the kids love it! They sing the theme song when we’re playing cards, too.

    • girloutofdixie January 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

      I guess I ought to get around to watching it sometime.

      Thanks for passing the love of Kenny on to the next generation!

  2. nwyfren January 27, 2011 at 4:11 am #

    I heart Kenny Rogers. It was my very first cassette from my grandparents on a bright pink cassette walkman when I was 7. I love your blog! My fiancé and I just had a great giggle at chicken fried steak. As an Australian, I had never heard of it and am still slightly confused by it!

    • girloutofdixie January 28, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

      Glad you like my blog!

      Way to go, grandparents!!

      I have to say that if I hadn’t grown up around chicken fried steak, I probably would be confused, myself.

  3. Kim's Wonder Sister Jenna January 28, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    You forgot to mention that this was an 8-track cassette tape, and the only other two we had were the before mentioned Anne Murray and some Christmas one. Our parents didn’t believe in buying much music…although we did have several Bill Cosby comedy albums, one of which was “Why is there Air” that I snuck into school in a different case, the teacher played it for about 15 seconds and said “Okay, let’s change to something else…”

    In my adult years I have bought quite a few Kenny CD’s…mom’s affection for him was contagious. I feel the exact same way you do.

    • girloutofdixie January 28, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

      I think you misspelled a word.

      Did you mean to call yourself “Kim’s ONE Sister Jenna”? 🙂

      We did have one other 8-track. KC and the Sunshine band. It was out in Mike’s Trans Am that was parked at our house for a while.

      They also had a lot of music on reel to reel, but I think the player was broken before we came along.

      And there were the old 78s we’d play on the Victrola.

      I’d forgotten all about BC’s “Why is There Air?” Good times!

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