Jay C. Brandriet
Kenny Rogers passed away yesterday. He was 81 years old.
He brought country music to a pop audience.
He’s one of those artists, that feels like a musical soundtrack to my life.
Here are my ten favorite Kenny Rogers songs.
“Islands in the stream”
“We’ve got tonight”
“Love the world away”
“I don”t need you”
#10- “LOVE SONG” (1982)
You wont find this listed as one of Rogers best. It’s an underrated track.
#9- “TWENTY YEARS AGO” (1987)
I get my sentimental side from my Mom. I found myself watching shows like “The Wonder Years.” I couldn’t help but cry a little every time Radar went home on “MASH.” I heard this song driving with my Mom in Highland Utah in 1989. It’s no coincidence I was immediately drawn to it.
#8- “LOVE WILL TURN YOU AROUND” (1982)
The first person I thought of after Kenny’s passing was my childhood friend, Stephanie Johnson Freitas. As an eight year old girl, she had love and passion for Kenny. I always saw Stephanie as the original face of his fan club.
#7- “COWARD OF THE COUNTY” (1979)
I enjoyed playing this jam for my step children on road trips. I wanted them to hear this all time important message. “And papa I sure hope you understand, sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man” (or a woman).
#6- “DON’T FALL IN LOVE WITH A DREAMER” (1980)
Sing it Kenny! My wife Emi always points out Kim Carnes and her smoky voice.
#5- “THE GAMBLER” (1978)
You may have never been into Rogers music, but you know this one. The lyrics have always created detailed pictures in my mind.
#4- “YOU DECORATED MY LIFE” (1979)
He had such a cool, raspy voice. It’s a patient song, with a chorus that really pays off.
#3- “LADY” (1980)
Written by Lionel Richie. Sang with swagger by Kenny Rogers.
#2- “SHE BELIEVES IN ME” (1979)
I was three years old and staying the night with a family friend, Jeff Acord. He had a guitar laying up against the wall. I always tied it together with this track. “I stumble to the kitchen for a bite, then I see my old guitar in the night, just waiting for me like a secret friend, and there’s no end.”
#1- “THROUGH THE YEARS” (1981)
This song is in my soul. It’s always been my favorite. It reminds me of my Grandma Shirley visiting me in Salt Lake City. I remember driving with my Dad, headed to go target shooting. He would sing along to this and say, “I’m good, huh dude?” I would squirm a bit, and tell him “no.”
Jay C. Brandriet