Songs I like by Artists I Don’t- “The Gambler”- Kenny Rogers. A number of the artists I’ve singled out on this feature- I can’t say I really dislike- as much as I am indifferent about. Do I dislike Bryan Adams? But Kenny Rogers- I can’t think of anyone from the late 70’s that I detested as much as I did him. You couldn’t listen to pop radio during that period of time without hearing hi growling out some song. He was an unlikely star at that point-he had some success a decade earlier with Kenny Rogers and The First Edition with “Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In- a song written by Mickey Newbury about an LSD experience- in 1968 it went to #5 on the Hot 100. Rogers in the mid-70’s after years without much success went to a more middle of the road- country sound- grew a beard- I swear no beard and we never hear of this bum. He was approaching 40 when he finally hit it big- hit after hit on the country and pop charts- I hated every one of them- but one- The Gambler. Written by songwriter Don Schlitz- when he was twenty-three. After a few years of shopping the song around finally Bobby Bare covered it. Johnny Cash covered it but it wasn’t until Kenny Rogers released it in late 1978 did it become a hit- it went to #1 on the country chart and on the Hot 100 #16. It became his signature song- and I had to admit I liked a Kenny Rogers song. Last year I even bought The Gambler album -used for $1 just for that song.