Last night I was tired, and forgot to include any Kenny Rogers’ trivia in my post. As we’re nearing the end of this tribute week, there are a few more things I wanted to include. Kenny did duets with a number of other artists, but the ones he is most remembered for are the ones he did with Dolly Parton. So, how did the two meet and connect?The two first crossed paths in Nashville in the early days of their careers, and he helped her when she headlined a syndicated TV show in the 1970s.
“Kenny was a big star, and I couldn’t get any people on my show. Kenny said ‘I’ll do it,’ and I’ll never forget it. He’s always been there for me as a friend.”
Nearly a decade later, Rogers was in the recording studio with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, who had just co-written Islands in the Stream and decided to give it to Rogers. After a few days trying to record, Rogers didn’t like how it sounded and was ready to give up. According to Rogers, Gibb said, “You know what we need? We need Dolly Parton.” By coincidence, Parton happened to be the same studio that day. Rogers’ manager went to go find her. Recalls Kenny …
“She came marching into the room, and once she came in and started singing, the song was never the same. It took on a personality of its own.”
Of all their duets, Islands in the Stream is my very favourite, but I find that I have already played it three times here, so … I’ll wait a while before playing it again.
Last night I played We’ve Got Tonight that Kenny sang with Sheena Easton, and I mentioned that while I loved Kenny Rogers, I preferred the Bob Seger version of that particular song. Well, guess what? Tonight’s song … same thing! While I love Kenny Rogers in all things, for this particular one, I prefer Billy Joel’s version. But, as I said last night, this is a week-long tribute to the late, great Kenny Rogers, not the alive-and-whole Billy Joel.
I actually just discovered that I played the Billy Joel and Barry White versions of this, as well as one where Joel visits Sesame Street with Marlee Matlin back in January, but as I had a special request for the version by Kenny Rogers and Dottie West, that is tonight’s fare!
Just The Way You Are
Kenny Rogers/Dottie West
Don’t go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore
I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are
Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care
I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are
I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you?
I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are
Songwriters: Billy Joel
Just The Way You Are lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management