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Posted by: In: Other 22 Aug 2021 Comments: 0


582-Kenny Rogers and The First Edition-Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.

1969-Number 2 single.

Best Bit-At 1.57. When playing the song live, the band would often perform it in a jovial manner, and the audience would clap, and sing along, which was seen by some as disrespectful to war veterans.

‘The First Edition’ were formed in 1967, in California, United States, by Kenny Rogers (1938-2020) (lead vocals, and bass guitar,) Mickey Jones (1941-2018) (drums,) Terry Williams (guitar,) Mike Settle (guitar, and vocals,) and Thelma Camacho (lead vocals.) They were active until 1976, but some original members, and others who joined later reformed in 2010, and again in 2014-2015.The initial lineup were mainly made up of former members of the ‘New Christy Minstrels,’ who wanted to broaden their musical horizons. They began as ‘The First Edition’ recording, and experimenting with ‘Rock,’ ‘R&B,’ ‘Folk,’ and ‘Psychedelic Pop,’ before taking the ‘Country Rock’ route. It was just before the release of this song that they changed their name to ‘Kenny Rogers and The New Edition, and the name would remain until Rogers left the group for a solo career in 1976. In total the band released 13 studio Albums between 1967-1974, and achieved seven top 40 singles on Billboard, while in the UK there only other chart single was ‘Something’s Burning which reached Number 8 in 1970.

‘Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town’ was written and originally recorded by the Country Music artist Mel Tillis (1932-2017,) and prior to this definitive version, was recorded by Waylon Jennings (1937-2002,) and Johnny Darrell (1940-1997,) who took the song to Number 9 on the Billboard Country chart in 1967. The songs lyrics tell the story of a paralysed war veteran, who fears that his woman is cheating on him. He begs her to stay at home with him, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Tillis was inspired to write the song, having lived near a couple in Florida. In real life the man had been wounded in Germany in World War 2, and his wife was seeing another man. The man murdered his wife, and then committed suicide. Tillis changed the setting to the ‘Korean War, and makes no mention of murder, but does say that the man would kill her if he could move to get his gun.

‘You’ve painted up your lips, and rolled and curled your tinted hair.’