June 10, 2006

My eyes are opened: Kenny Rogers is *everywhere*

Recently I ruminated on the Kenny Rogers twin who frequents my gym. Thanks to a reader tip, I have now learned that apparently the formula for living life as a Kenny-Rogers-lookalike is a fairly easy combination of distinguished graying beard, jolly eyes (lookin’ a little pinched now, post-plastic-surgery), and paunchy belly. Extra points if you can sing “The Gambler” (as I am wont to do in karaoke) or have ever met Dolly Parton.

Meet the many men who look like Kenny Rogers on the HILARIOUS time-wasting site:

I’d better bring a digital camera next time I go the gym and try to snare me some photographic proof that I have the actual Kenny at my YMCA. Oh, and I guess I gotta feature some music from The Man himself:

This old-timey song is a winning combination of pathos: a handicapped man, injured doing his “patriotic chore” in a “crazy Asian war,” a tartlet of a woman who has “painted up [her] lips and curled and rolled [her] tinted hair” in preparation for her no-good vamping out on the town while crippled boyfriend sits at home, watching the shadows move across the wall and fantasizing about readying his shotgun to stop her heartless ways. Man, it’s got all the elements. Not to say that it is exactly my kind of song, but it’s one you should know.

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” – Kenny Rogers

The ever-quirky Cake covered this on their Wheels EP from last year, and I love it. Note the additional rage-filled ending.

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” – Cake

The Killers, of all people, also took a stab at it as a b-side:

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” – The Killers

And an emphatic addition from friend Brian, with rip-roarin’ electric guitar from Jason & The Scorchers:

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town” – Jason & The Scorchers

That’s three more covers of this song than you ever needed. But for an old guy, Kenny’s continued relevancy is kind of notable. And his continued appearance in everyday life around me is a bit disconcerting.

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  • Love your site. Such a happy place!

    Trellick Tower — June 10, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

  • This is very strange.First,this past week i saw a highway construction worker who looked just like Rogers.I had had the urge to yell out”Hey Kenny!” but i figured he was working harder than me and could probably kick my ass.Secondly(do i have to say firstly to say secondly?), on Friday i actually bought a Kenny Rogers and the First Edition Lp at a used record store.It is a 1972 album called Backroads and i bought it because of the cover photos and the fact that it was on his own “Jolly Rogers “record label.Needless to say the music is unlistenable.I may post something from it on my site this week(as if anyone cares).

    Philco Brothers — June 11, 2006 @ 5:18 am

  • Thanks for all the “Ruby” links. This is a very intriguing song and I’ve always thought that it deserves much more attention and closer scrutiny. It explores deep themes of love and loss and Kenny has given us much to think about. I’m glad to see the process of exploration continues.

    ryan — June 14, 2006 @ 6:10 pm

  • If you thought the Scorcher’s version of ‘Ruby’ smoked, you should hear them set ‘Take me home, country roads’, on fire. Yes, a remake of John Denver’s classic!

    Ravynne — July 28, 2006 @ 11:23 am

  • awww man where are the songs?

    Anonymous — January 5, 2007 @ 12:42 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
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