1970 Kenny Rogers and the First Edition – Something’s Burning
After two top twenty hits in 1966 and 1967, the First Edition released the top ten again with the second single from their fourth album. Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town also reached the Country charts, but stalled at #39. The single reached #6 on the Hot 100 and featured the band’s new name: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition.
Mac Davis wrote the title song for the band’s 1970 album, Something’s Burning. When they released the single in the US in January 1970, many stations refused to play the song because they felt it had content that was too explicitly sexual in nature. The group found an interesting way to solve their problem.
The song also got released in the UK, so the band booked an appearance on the Tom Jones television show to promote their record. It got airplay and began to rise on the UK chart. More importantly, that episode of the show got played in the US and Canada, exposing the record to a North American audience.
Thanks to sales and requests from listeners, radio stations finally began playing the record. The single eventually peaked at #11 on the Hot 100 in May.
The group had two final top forty singles during the rest of 1970. They hosted their own television show and recorded several more albums, but found success only in New Zealand. By 1975, it was clear that the group’s brightest days were behind them.
Members began finding work as session musicians or arrangers. Kenny finally left the group and moved to a solo career in 1976. His new career didn’t take off until the release of Lucille in 1977, after which he became a superstar.
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