Song of the Day: Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, "Reuben James"

Kenny Rogers & The First Edition had a Top 10 hit with "Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town," the title track from their 1969 album. Later that year, they released another song from the album, "Reuben James." Written by Alex Harvey and Barry Etris, it’s the story of a Black sharecropper who becomes mentor to the singer. It only reached #26 on the Hot 100, but to #9 in Canada and New Zealand and #10 in Australia. Conway Twitty also recorded the song for his 1970 album Hello Darlin’.

9 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, "Reuben James"

  1. I remember both these songs! He did make some good mewsic. And his hair – wowza! Speaking of hair, I guess we’re going to look like hippies since we can’t get haircuts. 😎 I cut my own hair and have for years but my hubby has curly hair and I wouldn’t want to make a mess out of it.


  2. This probably belongs in “Overshare Your World”, but I always wanted hair like Kenny Rogers’. Mine just isn’t made that way — if I let it grow I end up looking like a combination John Denver/John Williams. Which is happening again, since I didn’t make it to the barber shop before the stay-at-home order happened. It’ll be fun watching my coworkers’ hair grow along with mine…our teleconferences will get closer and closer to a Brady Bunch opening. 🙂

    I don’t think I ever heard “Reuben James” on the radio, but it’s one of my favorite Rogers/Edition songs.


    1. Kenny had some great hair, didn’t he?

      “Reuben James” didn’t do so well on the charts, for some reason. Guess there were just too many other great songs on the chart at the same time.


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