Kenny Rogers’ 1977 Hit Song “Lucille” Is A Tearjerker

Following a fruitful ten-year tenure, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition called it quits. The singer then signed with United Records to begin his solo career. Love Lifted Me, his first studio album had a few modest hits on the charts, but it was his self-titled follow-up album, which included the heartfelt country ballad “Lucille,” that really shot to fame and cemented his place in the genre.

When Kenny Rogers started his solo career, he was just around forty years old, and the executives at United Artists saw him as a long shot in the country music business. And they never truly got over their doubts.

They were skeptical of this song at first, believing it to be “all wrong for a Kenny Rogers release.” Even Rogers was skeptical of the song’s original ending at first, but once he revised the final verse, he believed it would work well on the radio as well.

The famous phrase, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille, with four hungry children and a crop in the field,” particularly made his mother, Lucille, unhappy when she heard the song. He said that she actually had eight children, not just four. Secondly, it was not her fault. Thirdly, he wasn’t the author.

Meaning Behind The Song

Hal Bynum and Roger Bowling wrote the tune. Bynum claims that his song about the Star Spangled Banner and a blind busker he encountered on his way to a club served as inspiration. After he gave it some thought, he eventually wrote the song.

The story was told by a man he met in a Toledo bar about a woman who had finally given up on her goals and left her spouse and their four children. She assured him that she wasn’t going to give up and that she was eager to experience more fun as well as what the other life has to offer. The man then approached her, telling her that although he had experienced difficult and depressing times in the past, her pain would not go away this time. He had large, callused hands and a trembling, agonizing body.

The woman’s husband’s remarks continued to replay in the narrator’s mind, despite his desire to hold her.

The tune stayed on the shelf for a long after Bynum’s blind friend Doc Watson rejected his pitch. Then Paul Richey signed Bowling, a new writer, and he had the chance to collaborate with him. They made some minor improvements to the music for five minutes, but that was it.

Watch the video below to hear the hit song “Lucille” by Kenny Rogers.

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