Not exactly a tribute, cos Kenny Rogers’ songs was for me something that was most emphatically belonging to my Dad’s generation, although a sign then of the openness of the record charts to a wide range of music in the seventies. And Country music was so strong.
Yet those songs were irritating. Ruby, Coward, Lucille, Gambler – I mean don’t ever try the tables with your own money with those maxims. (Well, don’t try the tables really.)
Ironic then that in the University period, and that post University, unemployed period, post Salop home games Saturday evenings in the pub were finished by my mates putting his records on the juke box and muttering “weh weh weh” during verses before singing the first lines of the chorus – which anyone could do, but only my mates did. As was said during Shirley Valentine, surely there are better songs than this.
And then that post Notts County – Salop Saturday night at the Lord Roberts (2nd Feb 1985) when they put songs like these on to get people to leave at chucking out time, and yep, the astonishment as my mates knew the songs.
So, let’s mark his passing with an acknowledgment of sorts, and gratitude – that I have not been prompted to sing all those Jim Reeves songs for you.
And there I might have left it, save for this cover version of Islands from five years ago, by David Mellen, now leader of Nottingham City Council. Where he does actually sing the words.