♫ Turn! Turn! Turn! ♫ (Redux)

Tonight I went looking for a song I haven’t played in the last two years, and this was the first one to cross my radar!  So …

Folk singer/activist Pete Seeger wrote this one in the late 1950s, though it was not recorded until 1962 by the Limeliters, and didn’t become a hit until 1965 when The Byrds brought it out of folk circles with their electrified version.  In the interim, it was recorded by Seeger himself in 1962 on his album The Bitter And The Sweet.

According to Seeger …

“I got a letter from my publisher, and he says, ‘Pete, I can’t sell these protest songs you write.’ And I was angry. I sat down with a tape recorder and said, ‘I can’t write the kind of songs you want. You gotta go to somebody else. This is the only kind of song I know how to write.’ I pulled out this slip of paper in my pocket and improvised a melody to it in fifteen minutes. And I sent it to him. And I got a letter from him the next week that said, ‘Wonderful! Just what I’m looking for.’ Within two months he’d sold it to the Limelighters and then to the Byrds. I liked the Byrds’ record very much, incidentally. All those clanging, steel guitars – they sound like bells.”

Judy Collins also put out a version in 1963 on her album Judy Collins #3, and released it as a single in 1969.  And country/western singer Dolly Parton covered it in 1984 and again in 2005.

Ms. Collins’ version is very different from The Byrds’, and so I present both here …

Turn! Turn! Turn!
The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

Songwriters: Peter Seeger
Turn! Turn! Turn! lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

Good People Doing Good Things — A Mix

There are so many good people in this world … but sadly they don’t get the same level of attention the not-so-good people get, for they are just quietly going about the daily business of helping others.  That’s why once a week I take time out of the darkness that is often an inherent part of this blog to shine a bright light on those most deserving good people!  This week, I am starting with the kids who have already learned the joy of helping others, for they are our future.

Good People start young!

In Iowa lives a young man, a kindergarten student named Makay.  During the summer, Makay had, as many kids do, a lemonade stand outside his house where he made a bit of a profit.  So, while some kids his age would be eyeing the latest video game or toy to spend his newfound wealth on, Makay just wanted to do something nice for his classmates.

After some thought, Makay decided to buy all the kindergarten kids at his school a pumpkin for Hallowe’en.  His family coordinated with his teacher and principal, who arranged a field trip to Pride of the Wapsi, a popular eastern Iowa pumpkin patch and corn maze destination.

The owners loved Makay’s idea so much that they let him pick enough pumpkins for the 1st Graders at his school, too. Pride of the Wapsi owner, “Farmer Pat”, decided to pay it forward with another act of kindness. He is donating all of the money Makay used to buy pumpkins to the Red Cross for Hurricane Ian relief.

See how that works, folks?  It’s the domino effect … one good deed leads to another and in theory, pretty soon all of us are doing good things!

More than just a pair of shoes

Romello “Mello” Early and his friend Melvin Anderson are 7th graders in Buffalo, New York.  Kids had been teasing Melvin over his worn-out shoes, but the teasing graduated to outright bullying and Melo was so distressed over it that he went home in tears one night and asked his mom if he could buy Melvin a new pair of shoes.

“Can I use my allowance, or you can take something away that I would get for Christmas?”

What parent could resist a plea such as that?  Naturally, Mello’s mom took him to the shoe store that evening and not only bought Melvin a new pair of shoes, but a pair of $135 Nikes!  Mello used money he had been saving from his allowance to buy the shoes.

When he learned of Mello’s generosity, the school’s Dean, Bryant Brown Jr., was brought to tears, in part because when he was growing up he had also been the victim of bullying.  Brown shared the story on Facebook, and it took off like wildfire, as good news stories often do.  Long story short, it came to the attention of numerous local news stations and eventually caught the eye of someone at The Washington Post and was featured in their “Good Vibes” feature.

Says Mello …

“You should always treat people the way you want to be treated. I have a lot of stuff, so I was thinking, let’s bless somebody else today.”

Out of the mouths of babes!

Police officers get a bad rap … sometimes with good reason, for there are ‘dirty cops’ out there … but I believe that most are dedicated public servants who want to help rather than hinder the public.  Here are just a couple of examples …

Above and beyond the call of duty

When a woman in McDonough, Georgia, was in a hurry to get to work but needed to stop for gas, she was stunned to find her credit card declined!  Police officer Harrison just happened to be in the right place at the right time, and as the woman decided to walk to work in the rain and leave her car at the fuel station until she could sort the problem, Officer Harrison instead used his personal card and paid for her full tank of gas!

No longer indecent

In Atlanta, Georgia, Officer Nguyen was dispatched to check out a report about an act of ‘indecent exposure’.  When Office Nguyen arrived, though, what he found was a homeless man whose clothes were so threadbare that parts of his body were exposed.  Rather than arrest the man, the officer went to Wal-Mart and bought a set of clothing and a pair of shoes for the man with his own money.  Just a little thing, but he didn’t have to do it … he could have taken him to the station and let it be someone else’s problem.

Back in February, I featured Dolly Parton as one of my ‘good people’ for her many forms of philanthropy.  Just this month, Ms. Parton received new kudos for her contribution to the Moderna Covid vaccine, and our friend Keith has that story, so hop over and check it out.  Thanks, Keith!  Dolly is indeed a ‘good people’, as are you!

Good People Doing Good Things — Good Hearts

I found some, I found some!!!  Good people are out there, folks, they just don’t make as much noise as the other kind, so sometimes you have to go looking for them!

Workin’ 9 to 5 …

It is rare that I highlight the ‘rich and famous’ in my good people posts, but today I’d like to make one of those rare exceptions.  I have long admired singer/songwriter/actress/humanitarian Dolly Parton for her good heart – she has supported many charitable efforts, particularly in the area of literacy, primarily through her Dollywood Foundation. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a part of the Dollywood Foundation, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, and the Republic of Ireland.

The Dollywood Foundation, funded from Parton’s profits, has been noted for bringing jobs and tax revenues to a previously depressed region. Parton also has worked to raise money for several other causes, including the American Red Cross and HIV/AIDS-related charities.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parton donated $1 million towards research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and encouraged those who can afford it to make similar donations. She said “I’m a very proud girl today to know I had anything at all to do with something that’s going to help us through this crazy pandemic.” Her donation funded the critical early stages of development of the Moderna vaccine.

But last week she took yet another step on the humanitarian path when she announced a new free college program for employees of her Tennessee amusement park, Dollywood. Starting February 24th, seasonal, part-, and full-time employees at Dollywood are eligible for free college from their first day of work.  Dollywood is in the Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, a rural area with little outside of tourism to boost its economy, so this will be a huge help for the people in the area.  My hat is off to Dolly Parton and I only wish every person who has the means to do so were as generous.

It was a dark and stormy night, when out of the dark emerged a hero

On January 31, 2022, residents in Canada were bracing themselves for a mega snowstorm sometimes called a “Saskatchewan Screamer.” These storms occur when a fast-moving, low-pressure system spreads across the plains, enveloping the area in treacherous winter weather with winds so strong they actually sound like someone is screaming.

Shannon St. Onge knew the storm was coming. She just thought she had more time. Shannon is the director of finance at First Nations University of Canada. When she received a call about a check that needed her signature around 3 p.m., she rushed to the city of Regina, which is about 15 miles from her home in Pense, to get the job done. She finished her task quickly and began heading back home, where her two kids were waiting for her.

Before leaving town, Shannon filled her gas tank, purchased a new cellphone charger because hers had broken, and picked up a pizza for her kids to have for dinner.  But as she started for home, the weather quickly deteriorated with the storm arriving hours earlier than predicted, and before she knew it, she was driving straight through a blizzard!

Shannon drove as long as she could by sticking her head out the driver’s side window so she could see the gravel on the edge of the road. Eventually, she was forced to stop the vehicle entirely.

“There was no visibility, and there was no way I was going any further, because it would have been far too dangerous.”

She called 911 for assistance, but there wasn’t much the operator could do. They said they would send out a cruiser to check on her, but no one ever came. That’s when the single mom started to worry in earnest …

“Would the gas tank last until morning? What if I was hit by another vehicle? What if I fell asleep and the tailpipe was blocked? What if I didn’t make it home at all?”

Looking around for clues about her location, Shannon was able to make out a sign that said Bouvier Lane. A friend suggested she drop a pin on Google Maps, which she shared to a Pense community page on Facebook. As luck would have it, a stranger saw the post and recognized a farm near where Shannon was stuck!

“He private messaged me and said, ‘I know that family. Send me your phone number and I’ll contact their son.’”

Inside the house, Andre Bouvier Sr., an 80-year-old retired farmer, was enjoying a quiet evening with his 70-year-old wife. When he got the call about a stranded motorist outside on the road, he didn’t hesitate before throwing on his bright yellow jacket and snow boots. His wife fretted and told him not to go, but he insisted.  He later said …

“Everybody would have done the same thing. You don’t think about it, you just do it.”

I’m not so sure that’s true, but still, isn’t it good to know that there are some who “just do it?”  Carrying an LED flashlight, Andre headed out into the blizzard. “The worst part was the wind … Halfway there, I had to put my mitts in front of my eyes.”

You can imagine Shannon’s relief when she saw Andre heading her way! To his astonishment, she wasn’t the only one who’d stopped at his farm — two more cars had pulled over to wait out the storm as well! Waving his flashlight, Andre led them back to his home.  Said Shannon …

“Once we arrived to his house, and I parked the car, I got out and jumped into his arms and gave him a great big bear hug. I was sobbing with gratitude, I was so grateful.”  

Once inside their home, the Bouviers fed their unexpected guests, gave them blankets and pillows, and made them as comfortable as they could. The next morning, Andre was up before dawn to plow the driveway, and by 5:30, everyone was back in their cars and crawling toward home in the diminishing storm.

“In the end, we all made it home safely and I have never hugged my kids tighter,” Shannon wrote.

He gave a piece of himself … literally

Steven Robinson was on a family trip to Detroit when he realized his old friend, Richard Koonce, lived nearby. Robinson and Koonce were once college roommates but hadn’t seen each other for some 21 years.  Koonce invited Robinson and his family over, but Robinson was taken back by Koonce’s considerable weight loss. That’s when Robinson learned Koonce has been battling a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis, or PSC, since 2019. He had tried various treatment options with little success and was seeking a living donor for a liver transplant.

Steve Robinson did not hesitate. He offered to donate a piece of his liver to save his friend. And he was a match with the same blood type.  The life-saving operation was performed on Valentine’s Day at a Cleveland hospital. Robinson will be in recovery for six to eight weeks. For Koonce, it will take about six months.  Said Mr. Koonce …

“I am so truly grateful for the gift of life that God has offered through my friend, Steve Robinson, who decided almost within the very minute that he learned of my disease to step up and do whatever he could to help me.”

It seems to me that there can be no greater gift than to give a piece of yourself to someone in need.  Steve Robinson is yet another ‘good people.’

Steve Robinson (l) and Richard Koonce (2nd from right) with their wives

Saturday Surprise — Fun Facts!

I realized too late last week that Saturday had come and gone and I hadn’t even thought of a Saturday Surprise post, so I vowed not to make the same mistake this week!  I hope you are all having a safe and relaxing weekend so far.  We are, as usual, staying in this weekend, with daughter Chris going out to pick up a few things and a carryout dinner later this evening.

I found some interesting and fun facts over at Bored Panda and I picked 10 of them to share on this post, but if you still want more, I suggest you head on over and see all 50 of them!

I can ABSOLUTELY believe this one!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and that you find something to bring you laughter and joy!

♫ If I Were A Carpenter ♫

Tonight, I was in the mood for some soul, thinking some Four Tops.  Trouble is, I’ve played most of my favourite Four Tops songs … and reduxed them in the past year.  I’ve got my standards, y’know!  But then, as I was looking back at one, a comment reminded me that the Four Tops had covered this song, If I Were a Carpenter, and … lo and behold, I hadn’t played that one yet!  Now, since so many have successfully covered this song, it wouldn’t be fair to only play the Four Tops version, so I will add a couple of others, just for some variety.  Let me know which is your favourite.

This song was written by the folk singer Tim Hardin, who performed it at Woodstock in 1969.  The song, it is said, was partly inspired by the construction of a recording studio for Hardin, in the home of Lenny Bruce, and by his love for actress Susan Morss.  Sadly, Tim Hardin died in 1980 at the young age of 39 from a heroine overdose.  But, we still have his legacy to enjoy!

The song has been covered by so many, including …

  • In 1966, it was a top ten hit for Bobby Darin, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at #9 in the UK. Bobby Darin also released an album If I Were a Carpenter, which contains the song.
  • In 1967, Joan Baez covered a gender-reversed version on her album Joan, initially renamed If You Were a Carpenter though later compilations reverted to the original title.
  • In 1968, The Four Tops hit the Top 20 on both the pop and soul charts with their version. It also reached #7 in the UK charts in 1968 staying in the charts for 11 weeks. It reached #4 in the Netherlands.
  • In 1970, a duet by Johnny Cash and June Carter went to #2 on the country chart.
  • In 1972, a cover by Bob Seger reached #76 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was released from his album Smokin’ O.P.’s.
  • In 1974, Leon Russell released a version with a funk tempo and his own rewritten lyrics from the perspective of a “rock star”. His single reached #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was included on his album Stop All That Jazz.
  • In 2005, a duet by Dolly Parton and Joe Nichols was included on Parton’s covers album Those Were The Days.

Whew … that’s enough to make my head spin!  Let’s start with the Four Tops version and go from there …

And Bobby Darin …

Last, but not least, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash

If I Were a Carpenter
Four Tops/Bobby Darin/Johnny Cash/et al

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway
Would you have my baby?

If you were a carpenter
And I were a lady
I’d marry you anyway
I’d have your baby

If a tinker was my trade
Would I still find you
I’d be carrying the pots you made
Following behind you
Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Give me your tomorrow

If I were a miller
And a mill wheel grinding
Would you miss your colored blouse
And your soft shoes shining?

If you were a miller
And a mill wheel grinding
I’d not miss my colored blouse
And my soft shoes shining

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Give me your tomorrow

If I worked my hands on wood
Would you still love me?
I’d answer you yes I would
And would you not be above me?

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
I’d marry you anyway
I’d have your baby

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Give me your tomorrow

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Tim Hardin
If I Were a Carpenter lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ ♫ R.I.P. Charley Pride

I am not, as many of you know, a fan of country music.  In fact, I find that hard-core country, bluegrass, and western tunes actually hurt my ears and make me cringe.  I have long loved Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and a handful of others whose music is … country, but of a softer nature.  But … Charley Pride deserves to be honoured here tonight for his accomplishments.

Charley Pride, one of country music’s first Black superstars whose rich baritone on such hits as Kiss an Angel Good Morning helped sell millions of records and made him the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 86 from complications of the coronavirus.

Mr. Pride was a singer, guitarist, and what you might not have known, a professional baseball player!  During the peak years of his recording career (1966–87), he garnered 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of which made it to #1. He won the Entertainer of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1971.  Pride was one of three African-American members of the Grand Ole Opry, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Mr. Pride was not the first Black artist to record country music, but none of his predecessors had anywhere near the degree of success he enjoyed, and he went a long way toward breaking the colour barrier in the country music world.  Though Mr. Pride faced racism in the industry — the singer Loretta Lynn was instructed not to embrace him at an awards show in the 1970s should he win the award she was presenting — many of his white counterparts in country music welcomed him as the star he had become. (He did win the award, and Ms. Lynn not only hugged but kissed him.)

When word spread that Mr. Pride was Black, many radio stations refused to play his music. But Faron Young, a white country music star, came to Mr. Pride’s defense, telling one station manager that “if he takes Charley Pride off, take all my records off.”

Dolly Parton’s tribute to Charley Pride …

“I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you. Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans.”

And now … the song that Charley Pride was best known for …

Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’
Song by Charley Pride

When ever I chance to meet, some old friends on the street
They wonder how does a man get to be this way
I’ve always got a smiling face, anytime & any place
And every time they ask me why I just smile & say

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Well people may try to guess, the secret of my happiness
But some of them never learn it’s a simple thing
The secret I’m speaking of, is a woman & a man in love
And the answer is in this song that I always sing

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Al Anderson / Bob Dipiero / Joe Klimek
Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Bluewater Music Corp.

What a real hero looks like

I promised you a ‘good people’ post, but I found myself struggling to put my dark mood aside long enough to produce one this week. Instead, I am sharing an uplifting post about a woman who is truly a credit to the human race, and whose generosity knows no bounds. Thank you, Keith, for this post, and for helping me find a ‘good people’.


I have written before about this hero primarily for her book gifting program for young kids, which is now an international program called “Imagination Library” (see second link below). Her name is Dolly Parton. I heard she could write songs and sing, as well. Yet, Parton just received some new acclaim for helping fight COVID-19.

In an article in The Hill by Judy Kurtz (see first link below) called “Dolly Parton among donors behind Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine,” her efforts are revealed. Here are a few paragraphs from the article.

“Dolly Parton can add another achievement to her résumé: helping to fund research for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

The ‘9 to 5’ singer was one of several donors listed Monday as part ofthe announcement that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidatewas 94.5 percent effective in an interim analysis. The ‘Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund’ was named as a supporter in the footnotes…

View original post 203 more words

♫ Kenny Rogers — Final Tribute ♫

Well, folks, it’s been a week of memories, hasn’t it?  I’m sad to see it end, and I realize I didn’t get to all the requests from everybody, but I have made note of them and … Kenny’s legacy, his music, remains with us to be played over and over, whenever we want.  I debated what to do for this final post.  Lady was requested by a couple of people, but since I had already played it twice, last May and in October 2018, I held off on that one.  For tonight’s grand finale, if you will, I selected a few songs and tributes from other artists.  Rather than take up space with trivia & lyrics, I shall let the videos speak for themselves.  First, of course, it had to be Dolly’s own tribute …

What would any tribute to Kenny be without his iconic The Gambler

Even morning talk/news show Good Morning America had to say ‘goodbye’ to Kenny in style …

And, as our friend Ellen suggested, there might be no better tribute than this song by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, You Can’t Make Old Friends …

I finish with a recording that Kenny, along with so many other wonderful artists, such as Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, James Ingram, and too many to even name, participated in to raise money for humanitarian aid.  The first recording session on January 21st, 1985 brought together some of the most well-known artists in the music industry at the time.

This one never fails to bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eyes.  What a perfect way, I think, to close this tribute to a great artist …

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this week-long tribute to the late Kenny Rogers … I have certainly enjoyed doing it!  R.I,P. Kenny,  and thank you for all you have given us.

♫ Just The Way You Are ♫

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?kenny-dolly-2The 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

♫ Reuben James ♫

It has been suggested by a few that I make a week-long tribute to the late Kenny Rogers.  I hadn’t thought of it … well, I had thought of it, but a number of readers are not fans of Kenny, so I was about to discard the idea, but then I had so many people telling me their faves, and commenting on how Kenny and his music would be sorely missed (we still have his music, folks … it is his legacy to us), that I had to reconsider.

Our friend rawgod has now requested … or rather hinted at … this song twice now, and I feel badly that I hadn’t played it before.  I like the song, though it isn’t one of my favourites, but it highlights that gorgeous, sensual voice of Mr. Rogers (Kenny, not Fred), so for that, I love it.

Typically, I research and report the backstory and history of the song, but quite frankly I could find almost nothing about this song, and since what little I did find was conflicting, I have no history to report.  Rg … if you know of any, please enlighten us?  In lieu of a backstory, I share with you first, the tribute by Kenny’s long-time friend and sometimes musical partner, Dolly Parton, and some pictures of Kenny “through the years”.


“Well, I couldn’t believe it this morning when I got up, turned on the TV checking to see what the coronavirus was doing, and they told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away. You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend.

And I know that we all know Kenny is in a better place than we are today but I’m for sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today, if ain’t already, and he’s going to be asking him to spread some light on this darkness going on here. But I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken. A big ol’ chunk of it has gone with him today and I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say that I will always love him.”


Reuben James
Kenny Rogers

Reuben James
In my song you live again
And the phrases that I rhyme
Are just the footsteps out of time
From the time when I knew you, Reuben James

Reuben James
All the folks around Madison County cussed your name
You’re just a no-account, sharecropping colored man
Who would steal anything he can
And everybody laid the blame on Reuben James

Reuben James, for you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
Faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Flora Grey
The gossip of Madison County died with child
And although your skin was black
You were the one that didn’t turn your back
On the hungry white child with no name, Reuben James

Reuben James
With your mind on my soul and a Bible in your right hand
You said “turn the other cheek
A-there’s a better world a-waiting for the meek”
In my mind these words remain from Reuben James

Reuben James, you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
The faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Reuben Jame
One dark, cloudy day they brought you from the field
Until your lonely pinebox came
Just a preacher and me in the rain
Just to sing one last refrain for Reuben James

Reuben James, you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
The faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Reuben James, you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
The faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Alex Harvey / Barry Etris
Reuben James lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management