Sunday Music – Reuben James

Posted on Sun 04/15/2018 by


Today’s music video is Reuben James, sung here in this clip by the American Country Music legend Kenny Rogers, this song with his first major band Kenny Rogers And The First Edition.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Steve Bobo

I have often said in these Music Posts how your tastes in music evolve over the years, and in the earlier years as they are developing, those tastes happen sometimes without you even realising it.

With me, as with nearly everyone I would think, tastes in music begin to develop as you enter the teenage years, and for me, that was in the early 1960s, as modern music virtually exploded, with so many new bands and artists coming onto the scene, and here in Australia, that was mainly from the UK, in what is now referred to in the U.S. as The British Invasion.

At that young age, I could only listen to it on the radio, and here in Australia, at that time, we only had AM radio, as FM was still almost a Decade away. The major State Capitals had a group of AM Radio stations, and while some played classical music, and some even played Country Music, the major competing stations always played popular music only, and as they were all vying for listeners, they were very competitive with their music selections. Australia had a small population base so there was never really a requirement for a number of radio stations playing all the genres of music, as they would not have been competitive with the others, and even in those major cities, there were still only four or five stations which were the most competitive, and of them, two, perhaps three which were the big ones. So, all music was put in together as ‘Popular’ music, so it was all the same to us as listeners, and we (nearly all of us) couldn’t really differentiate. It didn’t matter if it was hard rock, the blues, or country music, if it wa good, it got played, and if really good, then it made its way up the charts.

As young teenagers, we couldn’t really care. We knew what we liked and we listened to it all, all of it.

Now, almost 50 years later, I can look back, and pick some of those songs I liked at the time as out and out Country Music songs, but at the time, it was just ‘popular’ music. Thinking back, I really can’t even recall it being mentioned as Country Music. It wasn’t until the early 1970s when it started to creep in, and at the time, there was a joke doing the rounds.

I like both types of music, Country ….. and Western. Because as it started to creep in, it became widely known as C and W music, while previously we thought of C and W music as perhaps, not politically correct in saying it, as perhaps hillbilly music, like the theme from the Beverley Hillbillies music, which was ‘flat out’ C and W.

I look back now and can pick that music which is basically Country Music, but as I have said, at the time, it wasn’t labelled as that at all, and we just thought of it as popular music, if you can see that point.

So, as those early years slipped by, unwittingly, I was gaining an appreciation of all music, not just the popular music at the time, but the Country Music that passed for popular music here in Australia with its much smaller audiences.

This song I have featured today is just one of those songs which actually highlights this fact.

We look at it now as Country Music, and in the US, it was Country Music, but here in Australia, it was all in together, and if the song was good, then it did well, and this was one of those songs.

Kenny Rogers in those days was doing his music with the band The First Edition. He had an earlier hit, titled Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town. I liked the song, but just okay really. Not long after that song faded, this song was released, late in 1969. It was a bigger hit (here in Australia anyway) than that first song was, and it spent almost four Months in the charts rising as high as Number Ten on the National Charts. In some cities, it rated even higher than that.

Kenny Rogers was a member of a band called The New Christie Minstrels, and he wanted to do more than just be a member of what was basically a large group of harmonising vocalists. He formed this band with some of the members of that former group, and had a mini=or career, until this album Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town, which sold really well, and the Single did really well, both in the U.S.

It’s hard to believe that this was almost fifty years ago.

Kenny Rogers went on to have one of the biggest careers in Music, not just Country Music, but across the whole spectrum of music, on of the biggest artists of these last fifty years.

This song I have featured today Reuben James was written by the American songwriter Alex Harvey, and was a little controversial at the time in the U.S.

Here in Australia, it was just another song being played on the radio, as all the young men and women of my age were beginning to realise that their tastes in music were evolving, and that there was more music around than what they thought was supposed to be the music they liked at the time.

Posted in: Music, Videos