Story Behind the Song: Kenny Rogers, ‘All My Life’
In 1983, Kenny Rogers earned a Top 20 country hit and a Top 5 Adult Contemporary chart hit with "All My Life." Written by BlackHawk member Dave Robbins, Jeff Silbar and former BlackHawk guitarist Van Stephenson, the song was the second single from Rogers' We've Got Tonight album.
Below, Robbins shares the story behind "All My Life" with The Boot.
I had a piece of music on a cassette -– yes, I said cassette –- that I had recorded at least two years prior to writing this song. It was just a chord progression that I really loved with a melody. I thought, "Man, someday I'm going to write that!"
I was writing with Van and Jeff, and Jeff said, "I went to a function on Music Row last night. I met this girl there, and we started talking and hanging out." Throughout the course of the evening, they kept talking. After everybody left, he ended up walking her to her car to make sure she got in her car alright.
He said, "It was just really natural, we both leaned in at the same time and kissed each other goodnight. When we got through kissing, I looked at her and said, 'Wow, you kissed me like you've kissed me all your life!'"
Van and I were going, "That's a great song idea!" We decided to make it "you'll love me like you've loved me all your life" instead of "you kissed me."
I pulled out that piece of music, and I said, "Hey, check this out!" I started playing it for them, and they flipped out. We ended up writing "All My Life" after that.
When that song was out, Kenny was doing a television interview with somebody like 60 Minutes. They were asking him, "You've had songs like "Lucille," "The Gambler," "Lady," and all these songs. What's your favorite song you've ever recorded?" He said, "Well, it's actually a song that wasn't my biggest pop or country hit, but it was the No. 1 song on the Adult Contemporary charts -– it's a song called "All My Life.""
When I heard that, I was like, "Wow!"
It was just one of those things when you never know where it's going to come from or how you're going to get ideas. Thank goodness Jeff was willing to kiss some girl the first time he ever met her, you know? [Laughs] And she was willing to kiss him back! If she had turned her head and said, "What are you doing?" then we wouldn't have had this song.
Whoever she is, wherever she is, thank you!
This story was originally written by Alanna Conaway, and revised by Angela Zimmer.
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