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 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 2:08 AM   
 By:   governor   (Member)

A legend has gone


 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 3:57 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

Everyone, considered him, the coward of the county. I love a song that tells a story.
Me mum, who was a big C&W fan, loved his songs.
He always came across as a cool guy.

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 4:24 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Kenny Rogers was my grandmother's favorite singer, but then Rogers was insanely popular circa 1978-83..."The Gambler" was a song even we kids knew--wasn't it done on The Muppets?

He wasn't considered a "cool" singer, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who couldn't revite the lyrics to "The Gambler", which was about as "deep" and "philosophical" as pop music got back then--as opposed to all that impossibly-deep tripe we are "treated to" now. wink

Recently I heard Rogers' #1 US hit, "Lady", and was impressed with how well it held up--a well-performed vocal and a tune one can hear the song's composer, Lionel Richie, doing himself.

I was even more impressed that I *still* knew the lyrics, 40 years later. I probably hadn't heard the song since it was a hit.

A few years ago I "suddenly" remembered that Kenny Rogers co-founded a rotisserie chicken chain, and asked a colleague at work if "Kenny Rogers' Roasters" was still around; I think I ate at one once...

Oh, and Kenny Rogers's facial hair was nearly as iconic as "The Gambler."

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 4:45 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

For my generation, and in our neck of the woods, he was mostly famous for "Islands in the Stream" with Dolly Parton. In fact, everytime I see someone mention the Goldsmith-scored film by the same name, I can't help but hear the refrain in my head.

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 6:19 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Kenny Rogers was my grandmother's favorite singer, but then Rogers was insanely popular circa 1978-83..."The Gambler" was a song even we kids knew--wasn't it done on The Muppets?"

That's right, he was super-popular when he peaked. I still love his big songs and still remember the words.

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 6:25 AM   
 By:   Octoberman   (Member)

The man was a monolith of country-pop.
Refreshingly bereft of modern-day scandals and tabloid-hijinks too.

"You gotta know when to hold 'em... know when to fold 'em".


(And during its heyday, we ate Kenny Rogers Roasters food on quite a few occasions.
It was delish and a real shame it didn't go on.)

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 6:27 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

I always liked his stuff, without being a fan as such.

I heard on the radio recently that Islands in the Stream was the only country song written by the Gibbs (even though it wasn't intended to be one originally), but the most successful one ever. Don't know how true that is but it certainly was mega-successful.

 Posted:   Mar 21, 2020 - 11:30 AM   
 By:   leagolfer   (Member)

That's a pity Kenny was a great guy & a legend, I wasn't into many of KR songs the style I love for country is more of Cajun effect different instruments - but no doubt I did love Lucille & Ruby & Islands in the Stream, I use too have a girl friend called Ruby I use too sing her song all the thanks too Kenny.

R.I.P. Kenny Rogers, thanks very-much.

 Posted:   Mar 23, 2020 - 7:23 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

I got to see him in concert in Atlanta back in the early 80's when he was at his peak, just after he and Dolly released "Islands in the Stream".

Smooth voice and great melodies. He was cool.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 11:18 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Kenny Rogers made his acting debut in a 1973 Vince Edwards television special called SAGE OF SONORA. In that Western-themed comedy-variety mashup, Rogers was cast as a balladeer. Rogers’ group, The First Edition, also appeared.

THE DREAM MAKERS was a made-for-television musical drama. “Sammy Smith” (James Franciscus) is a college professor who becomes Vice President of a record company, which is soon shut down for giving drugs instead of money to the performers. Sammy does not know this, but when the company folds, he is too vain to go back to his old professorial job. Sammy is determined to find a way back on top of the music business, possibly with the help of a hungry new band dubbed Cat Weazel (played by Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, just before they broke up and Rogers went solo).

Boris Sagal directed the film, which aired on NBC on 7 January 1975. Fred Karlin provided the unreleased score.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The song “The Gambler” had been written in 1976 by Don Schlitz and had been recorded by several artists, including Johnny Cash. But it was Kenny Rogers’ version that was a No. 1 Country hit and made its way to the Pop charts at a time when Country songs rarely crossed over. It was released on November 15, 1978 as the title track from his album “The Gambler” which won him the Grammy award for best male country vocal performance in 1980.

The story told in the song was tailor-made for a film treatment, so less than two years after the song was released, a made-for-television movie of THE GAMBLER was ready for airing. In the film, “Brady Hawkes, The Gambler” (Kenny Rogers), receives a letter from his son indicating he needs help. This sends Brady to the rescue. Along the way Brady meets up with “Billy Montana” (Bruce Boxleitner), a young man who thinks he knows everything about playing cards. Brady teaches Billy a few lessons along the way, and they end up forming a strong friendship and team up together.

Lee Purcell and Kenny Rogers in THE GAMBLER

In the song, the singer is on the receiving end of the advice of "know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run" from an older experienced gambler. So, while Rogers plays the elder gambler in the film, it is Bruce Boxleitner who plays the role that Rogers sang in the song.

Dick Lowry directed the film, which was broadcast on CBS on 8 April 1980. Larry Cansler provided the background score, and of course, the Rogers song was prominent in the film.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

"Coward of the County" was another story song, written by Roger Bowling and Billy Ed Wheeler, recorded by Kenny Rogers. The song was released in November 1979 as the second single from Rogers' multi-platinum album “Kenny.” It became a major crossover hit, topping the Billboard Country chart and reaching #3 on the Hot 100 chart; it also topped the Cash Box singles chart.

After the success of THE GAMBLER film, it didn’t take CBS long to commission a film version of COWARD OF THE COUNTY, which aired on 7 October 1981. In the film, “Tommy” (Fredric Lehne), a young man who made a deathbed promise to his father to be a pacifist, seeks bloody revenge on the men who gang-raped his wife. Kenny Rogers plays Tommy’s “Uncle Matthew,” a preacher. Dick Lowry, from THE GAMBLER, returned to direct, and Larry Cansler again provided the score


 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 2:30 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The 22 April 1981 Daily Variety announced that the film SIX PACK was under development at Twentieth Century-Fox, with executive producer Edward S. Feldman. Musician Kenny Rogers would produce through his recently-formed company, Lion Share Productions, while making his feature motion picture debut in the film’s starring role.

In the film, when itinerant race car driver “Brewster Blake” (Kenny Rogers) stops briefly in a small Texas town, he finds that his stock car, on a trailer behind his motor home, has just been quickly and expertly stripped. He chases down the miscreants, who turn out to be six orphan children. He has no recourse to the law, because the corrupt local Sheriff (Barry Corbin) takes most of the proceeds of their thievery in exchange for not putting them in an orphanage. They are charming rogues, who are in turn charmed by him. Disliking their arrangement with the Sheriff, they stow away with him, and he finds himself becoming a reluctant father figure.

Principal photography on the $10-11 million film was scheduled to begin on 11 January 1982. But by 3 March 1982, it was reported that production had fallen ten days behind schedule when the first day of filming coincided with a snowstorm. The delay cost an additional $1 million, raising the projected budget to $11.5-13.5 million. In addition, in February 1982, actress Robyn Douglas, who was cast as “Lilah,” Brewster’s former girlfriend, left the project and was replaced by Erin Gray. The start of Kenny Rogers’ 21 March 1982 music concert tour required him to finish his scenes by 19 March 1982, leaving his co-stars to film their reaction shots at a later date.

Kenny Rogers and Erin Gray in SIX PACK

Although filmmakers scouted potential locations in Texas, Alabama, and Florida, they chose Georgia for the state’s film commission, talent pool, and access to local racetracks. The final three weeks of production were scheduled to cover race sequences taking place at Dixie Raceway in Woodstock, GA, Atlanta Raceway in Douglasville, GA, and Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, GA. Although only four races were filmed, cars were redecorated with patches and decals throughout the shoot days so that the footage could be later edited into ten onscreen races. Second unit cameras also filmed a NASCAR race in April 1982, which contained cars painted to resemble those belonging to the characters.

Daniel Petrie directed the 1982 release. Contrary to what one might expect, none of the country songs heard in the film, not even one by Kenny Rogers ("Love Will Turn You Around"), showed up on the soundtrack LP, which was all Charles Fox’s score (except for a song he wrote himself). The LP has not been re-issued on CD. SIX PACK was moderately profitable, grossing $20.2 million.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

With the success of THE GAMBLER, a sequel was a given, and it arrived in the form of THE GAMBLER: THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES, again starring Kenny Rogers and Bruce Boxleitner. In the film, “Brady Hawkes” (Rogers), “Billy Montana” (Boxleitner), and “Jeremiah Hawkes” (Charles Fields) are on a train bound for a huge gambling event when the train is taken over by a gang of vicious killers in search of money. As ransom, the gang takes young Jeremiah hostage. Brady and Billy embark on a quest to rescue him and form a small gang of their own along the way.

Linda Evans, a western veteran from her four seasons on the series “The Big Valley,” was added to the primary cast for this sequel. Dick Lowry directed the made-for-television film, which aired on CBS on 28 November 1983. Larry Cansler provided the unreleased score.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the made-for-television film WILD HORSES, an over-the-hill rodeo champion (Kenny Rogers) gets fired from his assembly line job in Texas. He and a buddy (Ben Johnson) then decide to head to Wyoming to get a job herding mustangs. His wife (Karen Carlson) gives him her blessing, knowing he needs to find something which satisfies his spirit. The pair sign up for a roundup headed by a veteran cowboy. With the job, he finds himself cross-wise with a corrupt government official, who is making big profits on the illegal sale of wild horses. He also finds himself in the affections of the daughter (Pam Dawber) of an old ranch owner (Richard Farnsworth).

Dick Lowry directed the film, which aired on CBS on 12 November 1985. Hans Zimmer provided his first score for a television film.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

People couldn’t seem to get enough of “The Gambler,” so the next installment in the series, THE GAMBLER III: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, was expanded to a two-part film. “Brady Hawkes” (Rogers) and “Billy Montana” (Boxleitner) join forces once again in this new adventure. This time around their goal is to help the Sioux fight the government and get the supplies they need. They also uncover corruption within a government outpost and find themselves in a dangerous position. Linda Gray is on hand as the love interest. Buffalo Bill (Jeffrey Jones) and Chief Sitting Bull (George American Horse) also make appearances in this film.

Dick Lowry and Larry Cansler handled the directing and composing chores, respectively. The film first aired on CBS on 22 & 24 November 1987.

 Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 4:26 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

“Brady Hawkes” was back in THE GAMBLER RETURNS: THE LUCK OF THE DRAW, and he's about to lose his primary means of livelihood, when a law banning gambling is about to be passed. But before that, there's going to be one last great poker game and all one needs to join is $100,000. A madame named “Burgundy Jones” (Reba McEntire), along with four other madams, is willing to put up the money for Brady, but first he has to compete against four other gamblers. In the end it comes down to Brady and a man named “Luke Cantrell” (Christopher Rich). Brady barely beats him.

Kenny Rogers and Alma Martinez in THE GAMBLER RETURNS: THE LUCK OF THE DRAW

Brady, Burgundy, and an old friend of his, “Ethan Cassidy” (Rick Rossovich) set for the big game, which is in San Francisco. But Cantrell's a sore loser and is following them. Also following them is a band of outlaws who were planning to steal the money. Along the way, the trio encounter and/or are aided by some famous individuals, in what must be the greatest cast of television western heroes ever assembled. They include:
  • Gene Barry as Bat Masterson
  • Hugh O’Brian as Wyatt Earp
  • Brian Keith as “The Westerner”
  • Chuck Connors as Lucas McCain, The Rifleman
  • Jack Kelly as Bart Maverick
  • Clint Walker as Cheyenne Bodie
  • David Carradine as Caine
  • Doug McClure and James Drury from “The Virginian”

    Although Bruce Boxleitner left the series, Linda Evans returned as “Kate Muldoon,” from the first GAMBLER sequel. Dick Lowry directed the film, which for whatever reason shifted from CBS to NBC. It aired on 3 November 1991. Mark Snow provided the score (and I'm wondering if each hero was introduced with a snippet of the theme from his series).

     Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 6:03 PM   
     By:   Howard L   (Member)

    I will never forget turning on the TV that night and picking up somewhere into The Gambler, being pulled in and watching the rest of the way. Always aware of Kenny Rogers, never into his stuff except for that song. And am still amazed at how they made a movie because of that song and it had him in it. Especially since I don't recall ever hearing the song end to end. Oh and what a joy to see such a reunion of characters in Luck. Cheyenne Bodie, what're YOU doing here?! big grin

     Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 10:29 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    RIO DIABLO was a more hard-nosed western than any of “The Gambler” films. This time, Kenny Rogers played ruthless bounty hunter “Quentin Leech.” Country music star Travis Tritt was “Benjamin Taber” a young groom whose lovely bride (Laura Harring) is snatched up by ruthless criminals. It's up to this pair of ill-matched vigilantes to bring her back and bring the villains to justice. Naomi Judd appeared as a madame, “Flora Mae Pepper.”

    Rod Hardy directed the film, which aired on CBS on 29 February 1993. Larry Brown provided the unreleased score.

     Posted:   Mar 24, 2020 - 10:45 PM   
     By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

    Kenny Rogers brought his “Gambler” character into modern times with MacSHAYNE: WINNER TAKES ALL. This 1994 made-for-television film was a Kenny Rogers Production that finds the bearded one playing “Jack MacShayne,” an ex-convict who was busted and subsequently incarcerated for gambling when he shouldn’t have been. But MacShayne is no “Brady Hawkes.” He’s a hustler and small time con-man who isn’t afraid to break the rules.

    After serving a short stretch in jail, he goes to Las Vegas to see his son. But when he gets there, his ex-wife is no longer where she used to live or work, and she left no forwarding address. “Danny Leggett” (Terry O'Quinn), a recently retired cop, approaches him and tells him that he will help him find his son, if he does something for him. It seems that Leggett is planning to rob a hotel casino, and he needs three guys to pull it off.

    Kenny Rogers in MacSHAYNE: WINNER TAKES ALL

    Veteran television director E.W. Swackhamer helmed the film, which aired on NBC on 11 February 1994. Music was provided by Larry Brown and Edgar Struble.

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