August 7, 1982
Superstar Kenny Rogers, decked out in a dazzling white suit, sang to a capacity crowd at the Mid-State fair Saturday night. Rogers arrived in a helicopter, and was lowered to the stage from the hovering craft to the wild cheers of his fans. The show started on time, much to the delight of the crowd, which showed its appreciation by presenting Rogers with a bouquet of roses and a souvenir T-shirt at the end of the show.
Charlie Daniels would play the same stage the next day.
One of my favorite songs is sung by Kenny Rogers but for a number of years I never knew it.
Yeah, he had a few hits. “Lady”, “Lucille”, “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town”, “The Gambler” among many, but my favorite was his first.
He was with the First Edition when they hit the charts with the trippy “I just dropped in (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”, one of the longest titles ever for a top ten hit.
Written by influential Nashville songwriter Mickey Newbury the song hit the charts in 1968. More recently it was used in the psychedelic dream sequence in Cohen Brother movie “The Big Lebowski”.
According to Wikipedia session guitarist Glen Campbell played the solo and producer Mike Post reversed some of the riffs for the intro. The sound was drenched in the secret sauce of the 60s, compression, distortion and tremelo. Yeah, yeah, oh yeah. Props to the Beatles.
The silver haired Rogers made things look easy on stage in the 80′s because by then, he had plenty of experience. He began his career in a 1956 high school band and worked his way up the musical ladder. Never a music snob, his ears were open to a variety of music, working in a rockabilly group here, bass player for a jazz trio there. In 1966 he was in the folk group New Christy Minstrels then later the First Edition. He left the First Edition in 1974 and unlike many artists who flounder on their own Rogers found his greatest success as a solo artist. His talent was talent was finding the right song and then delivering it in a way that sold millions of records.
If you have been wondering how Rogers is doing, plans are well underway for a retrospective concert. Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years will be taped at April 10th, 2010 at the MGM Grand At Foxwoods in Ledyard, CT. Guests will include Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Wynonna and The Oak Ridge Boys.
As this post was being completed word came that Maynard Potter, the man credited with growth of the Mid-State Fair, died Friday in Idaho, CEO Vivian Robertson said Monday. He was 70. Potter was responsible for upgrading the entertainment roster at the fair and the waterfall at the fairgrounds bears his name.