Back in 1977 Kenny Rogers wasn't the superstar he eventually became. He had release an album called "Daytime Friends" which was good, but nothing really special. Almost.
The record company released the title song as a single and it became Kenny's first #1 country song. But they stuck a song on the flip side called "Sweet Music Man," which Kenny wrote. It sounded autobiographical but we'll never know that for sure.
Many country music dj's (like me) played that song but also would occasionally flip the single over and share that haunting, beautiful song with audiences.
It was another year before Kenny would release a song that would open the floodgates, making him the success he wanted to be, and make him a prize that country music songwriters would reach for over and over again trying to get their song into Kenny's hands. That song, by the way, was "The Gambler."
Vince Gill Honored Kenny Rogers with a touching performance of "Sweet Music Man" during a Grand Ole Opry performance on Saturday, March 21, 2020. It clearly got to him.
Kenny Rogers died on March 20, 2020. Vince Gill, Brad Paisley and Marty Stuart paid tribute to him during the Opry's 4,916th straight Saturday night performance. The show is airing without an audience for the time being.
Photo: Getty images