There’s only one person that I can possibly feature today.
I don’t recall there being many records by this singer, who passed away yesterday, knocking around the house when I was growing up, but I do remember there being at least one, which my Dad owned on 7″ single.
Whilst there are so, so many other records I’ve come to know and love by him, it’s that record that I still think of as his finest moment: a song of jealousy, of hurt pride, of frustration at the singer’s inability to do as he did, to be as he was, before he sustained injuries fighting serving country. Other songs may have protested against the Vietnam war in more populist and simplistic terms, this record told a story of post-war marital break-down, but pulls no punched about where the blame should lay.
It’s heart-breaking, it’s angry, it’s desperate.
It’s magnificent. It’s Kenny Rogers. And the First Edition, of course. But mostly it’s Kenny.
I never got to see Kenny perform live in person, but I did watch his set (on TV) at Glastonbury in 2013. Kenny’s wonderful show often gets eclipsed by Dolly Parton performing in the same Legends slot the following year – by the way, I suspect that Kenny had a lot to do with Dolly playing there, a reassuring confirmatory word in the right ear – so, since there is to be no Glastonbury festival in 2020, here’s his set in it’s entirety: