RIP Kenny Rogers

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silverscreenselect
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RIP Kenny Rogers

#1 Post by silverscreenselect » Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:36 am

Perhaps the biggest mainstream success of any country singer. He picked a fine time to leave us.

Age 81

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/21/entertai ... index.html
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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#2 Post by MarleysGh0st » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:24 am

The gambler, he broke even.

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#3 Post by mrkelley23 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:47 pm

silverscreenselect wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:36 am
Perhaps the biggest mainstream success of any country singer. He picked a fine time to leave us.

Age 81

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/21/entertai ... index.html
How about maybe the biggest country success of any mainstream singer?
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. -- Richard Feynman

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#4 Post by Bob Juch » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:17 pm

mrkelley23 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:47 pm
silverscreenselect wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:36 am
Perhaps the biggest mainstream success of any country singer. He picked a fine time to leave us.

Age 81

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/21/entertai ... index.html
How about maybe the biggest country success of any mainstream singer?
Garth Brooks sold over 170 million records, beating Kenny's 100 million.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to drive in New Jersey.

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#5 Post by mrkelley23 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm

Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:17 pm
mrkelley23 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:47 pm
silverscreenselect wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 5:36 am
Perhaps the biggest mainstream success of any country singer. He picked a fine time to leave us.

Age 81

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/21/entertai ... index.html
How about maybe the biggest country success of any mainstream singer?
Garth Brooks sold over 170 million records, beating Kenny's 100 million.
Not sure how this applies to either SSS's comment or mine. I think any country fan would agree that Garth's records, no matter how much he borrowed from rock and folk music, are all country. If he hit the pop charts, it was just spillover from his country success.

Kenny, on the other hand, started out in pop/rock (Just Dropped in, Something's Burning, Ruby) with the First Edition and crossed over to country in his solo career. But even then, only Lucille sounds like a typical country record to me.
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. -- Richard Feynman

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#6 Post by Bob Juch » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:25 pm

mrkelley23 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:17 pm
mrkelley23 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:47 pm


How about maybe the biggest country success of any mainstream singer?
Garth Brooks sold over 170 million records, beating Kenny's 100 million.
Not sure how this applies to either SSS's comment or mine. I think any country fan would agree that Garth's records, no matter how much he borrowed from rock and folk music, are all country. If he hit the pop charts, it was just spillover from his country success.

Kenny, on the other hand, started out in pop/rock (Just Dropped in, Something's Burning, Ruby) with the First Edition and crossed over to country in his solo career. But even then, only Lucille sounds like a typical country record to me.
The line between country and pop is very fuzzy.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to drive in New Jersey.

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#7 Post by Estonut » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:11 am

Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:25 pm
mrkelley23 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:17 pm
Garth Brooks sold over 170 million records, beating Kenny's 100 million.
Not sure how this applies to either SSS's comment or mine. I think any country fan would agree that Garth's records, no matter how much he borrowed from rock and folk music, are all country. If he hit the pop charts, it was just spillover from his country success.

Kenny, on the other hand, started out in pop/rock (Just Dropped in, Something's Burning, Ruby) with the First Edition and crossed over to country in his solo career. But even then, only Lucille sounds like a typical country record to me.
The line between country and pop is very fuzzy.
It wasn't that fuzzy until Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and even Olivia Newton-John came along.
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
Groucho Marx

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#8 Post by Bob Juch » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:30 am

Estonut wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:11 am
Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:25 pm
mrkelley23 wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:14 pm
Not sure how this applies to either SSS's comment or mine. I think any country fan would agree that Garth's records, no matter how much he borrowed from rock and folk music, are all country. If he hit the pop charts, it was just spillover from his country success.

Kenny, on the other hand, started out in pop/rock (Just Dropped in, Something's Burning, Ruby) with the First Edition and crossed over to country in his solo career. But even then, only Lucille sounds like a typical country record to me.
The line between country and pop is very fuzzy.
It wasn't that fuzzy until Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and even Olivia Newton-John came along.
By grouping those artists together, you've proven you don't know shit about country music.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to drive in New Jersey.

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#9 Post by Estonut » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:57 pm

Bob Juch wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:30 am
Estonut wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:11 am
Bob Juch wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:25 pm
The line between country and pop is very fuzzy.
It wasn't that fuzzy until Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and even Olivia Newton-John came along.
By grouping those artists together, you've proven you don't know shit about country music.
Really? Which of those artists did not have their roots in country and/or did not have mainstream success?
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
Groucho Marx

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#10 Post by Bob78164 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:54 pm

When I saw this thread, my first thought was the former MLB pitcher. --Bob
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#11 Post by Bob Juch » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:21 pm

Estonut wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:57 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:30 am
Estonut wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:11 am
It wasn't that fuzzy until Dolly Parton, Glen Campbell, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and even Olivia Newton-John came along.
By grouping those artists together, you've proven you don't know shit about country music.
Really? Which of those artists did not have their roots in country and/or did not have mainstream success?
Dolly, Glen, and Faith never left their country roots; they had crossover hits. Shania crossed the line into pop. Carrie went way over the line as has Taylor. Olivia's "country" hits weren't really country; they all hit the pop charts simultaneously.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to drive in New Jersey.

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#12 Post by Estonut » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:36 am

Bob Juch wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:21 pm
Estonut wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:57 pm
Bob Juch wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:30 am
By grouping those artists together, you've proven you don't know shit about country music.
Really? Which of those artists did not have their roots in country and/or did not have mainstream success?
Dolly, Glen, and Faith never left their country roots; they had crossover hits. Shania crossed the line into pop. Carrie went way over the line as has Taylor. Olivia's "country" hits weren't really country; they all hit the pop charts simultaneously.
The question was, "Which of those artists did not have their roots in country and/or did not have mainstream success?"
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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#13 Post by kroxquo » Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:44 am

I'll be the first to admit that I really don't know much about country music, but my wife was raised on it and she always has the radio in the car tuned to the country top 40 station. When I listen to it, I am often baffled about what is the distinction between country and pop. Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, and several others all have the electric guitars and orchestrations of pop or rock and, apart from the steel guitar usually thrown into the mix, sound indistinguishable. Can someone tell me - what makes something a country song apart from the artist saying they are?
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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#14 Post by mrkelley23 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:18 am

krox, you deserve a more thoughtful answer to your question, but in the 21st century, it seems to me like it's more of a marketing decision than anything.

Take the case of "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. It has many elements of a country song, or at least crossover, but Nashville was resistant to call it a country song, and despite it being one of the most popular songs in the country, it didn't place on the country charts until Lil Nas X added Billy Ray Cyrus for a version. Then it was a smash, on all charts. If you listen to the two versions side by side, you'll probably agree that Billy Ray didn't add much of anything to the song, other than his name.

Many folks contended that the country establishment's initial resistance was due to the fact that Lil Nas X is an out gay black man. I don't know if that's true, or if it's just the case of needing an established name like Cyrus to add legitimacy to a first-time performer. But it does get at the heart of what country fans call country.

In the 50s and 60s, there was a much sharper line between pop/rock and "country and western." (I don't remember hearing it referred to as just "country" until the 1980s or so). Even the crossover hits in the 60s and early 70s were still sung by country artists, with recognizable southern accents and nasal twangs typical of the country sound at that time. (interesting side note: While researching this post, I discovered that Willie Nelson's song "Crazy," as sung by Patsy Cline, is considered by many to be the first country-pop crossover hit) .

By the mid-70s, with the emergence of the sound of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and others, the lines got very blurry. There were still plenty of songs that "crossed over" to the pop charts, and some that went the other way -- that's why esto's point about Olivia Newton-John is a good one. She never attempted to be country, but her label marketed her songs as crossovers to broaden her market. Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers are two other examples of artists, not just songs, who started their careers in rock/pop, but then found success on the country charts later.

Since then, the definition of country seems to be more about subtle differences: steel guitar is usually a dead giveaway, southern accents while singing, subject matter of the lyrics, and/or a little yodel-y twang to the voice. It's almost like Potter Stewart's famous comment in the Supreme Court's obscenity case in the 60s: "I know it when I see it." Or, in this case, hear it.

I'm linking Brad Paisley's song "This is Country Music" below. He attempts to talk about some of the lyric differences and attitude differences, and I think he has a point.

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled. -- Richard Feynman

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#15 Post by frogman042 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:34 am

Here is Steve Goodman's/John Prine's take on country and western music:


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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#16 Post by mrkelley23 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:53 am

Never even thought to look up the Steve Goodman version of it, though I knew it was his. I've only ever listened to the David Allen Coe version. But that song is more of a self-deprecating inside joke, where Paisley's is more of a thump-your-chest boast. Either way, they get big reactions from country crowds.
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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#17 Post by Bob Juch » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:34 am

kroxquo wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 4:44 am
I'll be the first to admit that I really don't know much about country music, but my wife was raised on it and she always has the radio in the car tuned to the country top 40 station. When I listen to it, I am often baffled about what is the distinction between country and pop. Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum, and several others all have the electric guitars and orchestrations of pop or rock and, apart from the steel guitar usually thrown into the mix, sound indistinguishable. Can someone tell me - what makes something a country song apart from the artist saying they are?
Absolutely nothing.

I listen to The Highway channel on Sirius XM which is "today's country" and am shocked at what is called "country". Sometimes I flip to Y2Country which is the hits from the first decade of this millennium.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to drive in New Jersey.

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Re: RIP Kenny Rogers

#18 Post by Bob Juch » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:42 am

mrkelley23 wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:18 am
krox, you deserve a more thoughtful answer to your question, but in the 21st century, it seems to me like it's more of a marketing decision than anything.

Take the case of "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. It has many elements of a country song, or at least crossover, but Nashville was resistant to call it a country song, and despite it being one of the most popular songs in the country, it didn't place on the country charts until Lil Nas X added Billy Ray Cyrus for a version. Then it was a smash, on all charts. If you listen to the two versions side by side, you'll probably agree that Billy Ray didn't add much of anything to the song, other than his name.

Many folks contended that the country establishment's initial resistance was due to the fact that Lil Nas X is an out gay black man. I don't know if that's true, or if it's just the case of needing an established name like Cyrus to add legitimacy to a first-time performer. But it does get at the heart of what country fans call country.

In the 50s and 60s, there was a much sharper line between pop/rock and "country and western." (I don't remember hearing it referred to as just "country" until the 1980s or so). Even the crossover hits in the 60s and early 70s were still sung by country artists, with recognizable southern accents and nasal twangs typical of the country sound at that time. (interesting side note: While researching this post, I discovered that Willie Nelson's song "Crazy," as sung by Patsy Cline, is considered by many to be the first country-pop crossover hit) .

By the mid-70s, with the emergence of the sound of the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and others, the lines got very blurry. There were still plenty of songs that "crossed over" to the pop charts, and some that went the other way -- that's why esto's point about Olivia Newton-John is a good one. She never attempted to be country, but her label marketed her songs as crossovers to broaden her market. Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers are two other examples of artists, not just songs, who started their careers in rock/pop, but then found success on the country charts later.

Since then, the definition of country seems to be more about subtle differences: steel guitar is usually a dead giveaway, southern accents while singing, subject matter of the lyrics, and/or a little yodel-y twang to the voice. It's almost like Potter Stewart's famous comment in the Supreme Court's obscenity case in the 60s: "I know it when I see it." Or, in this case, hear it.

I'm linking Brad Paisley's song "This is Country Music" below. He attempts to talk about some of the lyric differences and attitude differences, and I think he has a point.

I remember in the 70s when Emmylou Harris, Hank Williams Jr, and others were being called not really country artists. :shock:

KFAT radio in "Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world" played them but no AM country stations would.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to drive in New Jersey.

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