Kenny Rogers’ Classic “Lucille” Hit Number One 44 Years Ago This Week
One of the first songs I remember hearing as a kid was Lucille. My Dad would sing it with me on his knee. He would sing it while driving me around in his El Camino. He'd even sing it while making us kids dinner(as my mom worked second shift at the time).
Now that my Dad has passed on (13 years ago in June), I can't help but think of him when I hear this tune. It wasn't just a big hit on the country charts, but the pop charts as well. Going all the way to number five on the Billboard Hot 100 back in 1977. It was also Rogers' first solo hit after leaving his band The First Edition the year before.
Kenny Rogers would go on to have a string of crossover hits, including The Gambler (1978), and his duet with Dolly Parton, Islands in the Stream (1983)
In a strange coincidence, Kenny Rogers' own mother was named Lucille. According to his autobiography, she was initially upset, thinking the song was about her. In truth, Rogers didn't write the song, Hal Bynum and Roger Bowling did. But Rogers always felt awkward singing it around his mother after that. Can you blame him? Lucille doesn't come off as the best mom, or wife in the tune!
That being said, it's one of Kenny's greatest. And a fine song to create your own memories too. Just like I did with my dad all those years ago.
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