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Kenny Rogers

Related threads:
Obit: Kenny Rogers (1938-2020) (20)
Obit: Travis Henderson (Kenny Rogers bandmate) (1)
Lyr Req: Coward of the County (Kenny Rogers) (30)
Lyr Req: Reuben James (from Kenny Rogers) (5)


Chet W. 22 Mar 98 - 05:09 PM
Phideaux 22 Mar 98 - 05:18 PM
Ralph Butts 22 Mar 98 - 05:22 PM
Dan Keding 22 Mar 98 - 05:43 PM
steve t 22 Mar 98 - 09:11 PM
Barry Finn 22 Mar 98 - 09:55 PM
Earl 23 Mar 98 - 07:59 AM
Bill in Alabama 23 Mar 98 - 08:23 AM
Barry Finn 23 Mar 98 - 10:50 AM
chet w 23 Mar 98 - 09:12 PM
Alex 23 Mar 98 - 10:25 PM
steve t 24 Mar 98 - 01:44 AM
Earl 24 Mar 98 - 09:33 AM
chet w 24 Mar 98 - 07:19 PM
Bill D 24 Mar 98 - 10:39 PM
Dan Keding 24 Mar 98 - 11:29 PM
Sheye 25 Mar 98 - 10:15 AM
Jerry Friedman 25 Mar 98 - 08:21 PM
Bill D 25 Mar 98 - 10:07 PM
chet w 26 Mar 98 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,island in the stream 17 Feb 01 - 04:57 AM
DonMeixner 17 Feb 01 - 08:13 AM
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Subject: Kenny Rogers
From: Chet W.
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 05:09 PM

Had a message about my frustration venting regarding Kenny Rogers. Come on, now, maybe it helps to say he's not country, but most people seem to think that he represents the highest form of country music. His songs (the ones he writes) are like Hallmark cards and they lower the common denominator for all of us that love and respect the wonderful heritage of country music (though not as much as Achy Breaky Heart did). His version of City of New Orleans was better than Arlo Guthrie's or Steve Goodman's? I have a lot to say about how country music lost its integrity in the public eye (try listening to any "country" radio station. Hear anything related to the traditions of country music on there), but Kenny Rogers is certainly among the guilty. I know he's trying to make money like everybody else, but it's a shame that one of America's finest tradtions has to suffer so he can do it. Discussion?

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Phideaux
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 05:18 PM

Who was it said "country ain't country anymore? They were sure right.

Bob Schwarer


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 05:22 PM

Chet.....

I kind of agree, but there are a few Kenny songs I like a lot, most notably "Coward of the County".

He's difficult to pigeonhole 'cause he's changed his style a couple of times, "Lucille" being a breakout song in one of those switches.

Next switch produced "Islands in the Stream" with Dolly Parton" which I also like a lot, despite the commercial polish.

To reiterate, though, I kind of agree. How's that for a strong opinion?

......Tiger


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Dan Keding
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 05:43 PM

Kenny Rogers has followed in the grand tradition of those that are more career centered than art centered. His music to me is pop music. It has a hook, its catchy, it doesn't tax your intellect and its commercial. Its not country by any stretch of the imagination at least not in the mold of Jimmie Rodgers or The Carter Family or even some of the later country stars. It may have some instruments that appear regularly in country music but its pop music. Its good pop music, but its pop. Many artits use a genre of music for their own career moves. For example check out all the folk singer/songwriters that suddenly become "new" country when they get a recording contract or begin to get really popular and have a chance to move their careers into high gear and more exposure. It happens all the time. What always surprises me is not that it happens but that each time it does we are surprised.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: steve t
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 09:11 PM

Get off those high horses, people. Country music is Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter family? Hah! Might as well say electric guitars have no place in blues music.

Country music, so long as I can remember it, has been dominated by dance music. Heavy base and drums. Slower before the era of roadside breathylisers, when people used to get more drunk. I imagine when Jimmie Rodgers and the Carters were playing, country music was often dominated by repetitive fiddle tunes for DANCING. Achy Breaky Heart, I'm told, is fun to dance to.

Because country has always been Kenny Rogers to me, I'm utterly astonished when I hear some modern Garth Brookes song, for example, stripped of all its dance instrumentation and sung with a solo accoustic guitar: wonderful folk tunes, if only...


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 22 Mar 98 - 09:55 PM

Wasn't Kenny part of the Ulitmiate Spinach, back in the late 60's & part of the Boston Acid/Rock sound? Barry


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Earl
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 07:59 AM


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Bill in Alabama
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 08:23 AM

Steve T: Concerning your comment about Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family: you are quite correct about the dance music being an integral part of the music. Our band has performed at the Carter Family Fold for years. Backstage and in the dressing rooms there are signs informing performers that absolutely no electric instruments will be allowed onstage, and there is a strong insistence that the music be traditional. Nevertheless, performing groups are apprised that during their set every third tune MUST be a dance tune and, if the group has no fiddler, a house fiddler will perform with the group. The folks in the audience expect this, and many dance throughout the entire performance. Certainly in my own experience growing up in the Appalachians, we could always expect dancing and a strong impetus for dance-type music at most public performances. The "Folk Concert," like the "folk circles," is a product of revivalism and, while it may be important and enjoyable, it is not particularly authentic in its concert format and ambience.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Barry Finn
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 10:50 AM

Earl, thanks, First Edition, new it was one of those Boston groups. Barry


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: chet w
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 09:12 PM

I would probably have had nothing to say about Ol' Kenny except that, when performing, I always get requests for his songs (and Jimmy Buffet's) and people get MAD sometimes when you say you don't do any of his songs. They're figuring "you have a guitar. you must be lying. you just don't want to do it for me." I do have a problem with the quality of his writing. Not that every song has to be a masterpiece or a bit of great art, but when you start with lines like "everybody knew he was the coward of the county" you know what the rest of the story is going to be. There's nothing to look forward to, unless you're a person who just really does not want to be surprised. There is a tradition of great poetry in country music (look at the real and only Hank Williams) and good stories and much emotion. I would like to keep calling my music country music, and let Kenny and Garth Brooks come up with a new name for what they do. If anyone would like to defend the literary quality of Achy Breaky Heart, regardless of the fact that it might be fun to dance to, particularly after a number of beers, I would dearly love to hear it.

Venting, venting some more, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Alex
Date: 23 Mar 98 - 10:25 PM

Although I'm not a country music fan, I don't see why we should dis any peformer. Kenny has his fans who enjoy what he does. And if you don't like any kind of music, you don't have to listen to it. Switch to another station for chrissakes. You don't have to buy it either. Thanks be, it's still a free country with the widest variety of music available (and through the net, becoming wider). Enjoy what you prefer and accord the same priviedge to everyone else.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: steve t
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 01:44 AM

Bravo, Alex!


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Earl
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 09:33 AM

Of course Alex is right. However, Chet's point is that a man with a guitar should not automatically be reqired to play Kenny Rodgers or Jimmy Buffet. I suppose the audience could exercise its right and only listen to performers that cover these boys but they'd be missing a lot of good music.

I don't think we're dising KR as pop star, its hard to argue with success, but I don't see what makes it country music.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: chet w
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 07:19 PM

Thanks, Earl. That is what I was saying. Some of you may have read my own live and let live tirades before. This is a wider subject, I guess. Thinking of Kenny Rogers as real country music is like (I can't think of a better analogy) sending a hallmark card instead of writing your own thoughts and feelings to one that you care about. Alex and Steve t., you're right too. People should listen to whatever they want, whatever makes them happy. It's just that when country music quit being the Carter Family and then quit being Hank Williams and then quit being by and for people with any personal ties to rural/small town life, it became Kenny Rogers and Alabama and Hallmark Cards and (do these exist anywhere else) country crafts (usually cute cutouts of ducks and little boys peeing for the front yard and anything with lace and gingham on it for the inside). It's not as good. I want the name "country" back.

With good cheer, Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Bill D
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 10:39 PM

wasn't gonna read this since I know almost ziltch about Kenny R., but had some time...and LO!, I find the same discussion about 'country' as we had about 'folk' and 'trad' in other threads!! And I hear chet w making my points..i.e.,

"I would like to keep calling my music country music, and let Kenny and Garth Brooks come up with a new name for what they do."

AMEN!...it is even more meaningful to read chet's comments because my 'living' is making 'crafts'...serious woodworking...mostly turning, and I sign up for a 'crafts' show, only to find the ducks and the lace & gingham (and the windmills and the 'personalized' boot scrapers) overwhelming the serious crafts. I am learning to inquire ahead of time whether the show's focus is 'country' crafts, and to avoid it, not because it is 'bad', but because it fails to describe what I do.

....So, in music, I simply wish that there were some way to require those that make basic changes to a particular genre' or style to find their own name....even if there are only 9 people left in the universe who like what I like, let's not co-opt the name just because it's handier than thinking up something new...This point seems to be easier to make in regard to 'country' or 'bluegrass' or 'Celtic' than is is when discussing 'folk' or 'traditional', but I think many of the same arguments apply...chet wants 'country' back! I want 'folk'!!!!


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Dan Keding
Date: 24 Mar 98 - 11:29 PM

I think that this discussion of Kenny Rogers and whether he belongs to one or the other musical genre is important. Earlier in this discussion I remarked that his music belongs more to Pop than country. Someone took this as putting him down. On the contrary. His popular songs have crossed several boundaries including pop, country, rock and easy listening. I really don't think it is a put down. Kenny R has been enormously popular. One feeling I have is that I agree with sevral of the folks on this htread that lament the fact that in this country we have a tendency to lump things together. Suddenly everyone with an acoustic guitar is a folk singer, everyone who is backed by pedal steel is country. It just ain't necessarily so. Early country music had an integrity that is often missing in the Nashville sound. I've had several song writing friends that have been told that their songs are too complex for modern Nashville, they need to simplify, they need hooks, they need to use simpler language, they need to sound more pop. Pop music is probably the biggest genre out there right now and its boundaries are blurred. Folk, country, blues, when it really comes down to it we should each have our own definitions and just play the music. The best will survive, it always does.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Sheye
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 10:15 AM

Kinda gave up on the Official Nomenclature idea several moons ago. It's more practical when digging up new species of beatles or something.

When asked what kind of music I listen to, I answer with what kinds of music I don't listen to - it's a shorter list.

My ex used to give me a hard time 'cause when I was making my own cassettes to play in the car, I would have Tchaikowsky (sic?), Rolling Stones, Proclaimers, Crash Test Dummies, Billy Idol, all of the same cassette. The protest was that it didn't have any commonality. Wrong. The commonality is that it's all stuff I like....


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 08:21 PM

I'm not familiar with most of Kenny Rogers's work, but I do like the First Edition song with "I just checked in/ To see what condition my condition was in."

Sorry, Chet and Bill, but you can't have "country" back. The word has changed its meaning--possibly for the worse, but irrevocably.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: Bill D
Date: 25 Mar 98 - 10:07 PM

I shoulda put somewhere that I never imagined for a moment that I could get 'country' OR 'folk' back...*sad smile*...it's just too easy to find a convenient 'label' and cram ones own particular variations on the theme into it. It happens in a lot of areas besides music..(like 'crafts' and 'ethnic cuisine') But our friend Max has provided a way I can note my disapproval to anyone in the world who happens to look in! And I think that in the years to come, this medium is going to be enormously influential in defining public perceptions...so I want my narrow little viewpoint out here! Maybe it will actually cause someone to think twice about the issue..

A note about Sheye's car tapes...I do similar things, though not 'quite' to that extreme..*grin*...but you can't go to the record store and buy such combinations...they will ALWAYS have to have some sort of 'official nomenclature' to label the bins with. I simply offer my **humble** opinion as to what those labels should read and what should be in them.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: chet w
Date: 26 Mar 98 - 06:08 PM

One other thing I feel moved to add. In a great many foreign countries that have the means to get recordings and performances of REAL American country or jazz or blues it is enourmously popular. Some of you may remember a few years ago when Japanese companies like Sony were buying up the musical and other properties of American entertainment and media companies like Columbia. They would put out re-releases of forty-year-old albums by people like John Coltrane or even older ones by Hank Williams or Bill Monroe, it would be on their CHARTS, as in top 10 or 40 or 100 for months at a time, while here where the music was made you would have to go out of your way to find people who could identify these artists. I have a lot of family and friends in the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia) and there everybody seems to know a lot more about REAL American music than almost everybody here. I have to say I am ashamed of this fact. I know I can't have "country" back. It's just that vain longing for justice.

Chet W.


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: GUEST,island in the stream
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 04:57 AM


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Subject: RE: Kenny Rogers
From: DonMeixner
Date: 17 Feb 01 - 08:13 AM

The Music that is now The Nashville Sound is a bit removed from country music. I doubt that Kenny Rogers ever was a true part of country music. In fact in an interview that I heard of him on NPR's Fresh Air he said he was cruising along in a nice little carreer. Playing supper clubs and singing pop standards. Stardust, Begin the Beguine, et al. Something he excells at by the way. He did Lucille as an experiment to see if liked the style and it took off. He said he be a fool not to ride that horse as far as it goes.

AS far as Garth and Kenny and Lyle and company. Watch CMTV for awhile, these guys couldn't get a start right now no matter how good they may be. They are either too chubby, too old, too goofy looking. There are thousands of great singers and pickers loose in the world but there are few who are as pretty as Shania and The Dixie Chicks or as Gosh all goodlookin' as Alan Jackson or Vince Gill.

Lastly, I feel the same way as Alex. I admire anyone who is working in the biz today and meeting the demands of a fan base. The Country Music Machine does this one thing right. Fan Fares where performers talk to and thank personally the people who buy them there tour busses and estates in Branson. A thank you from and a free photo is more than likely gonna make me listen to Clint Black again than a "Fuck you and beat it" will make me return to Stone Temple Pilots .

Don


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