Kenny Roger's Performance with Dolly Parton.
When at College, it was my tamil friend, Muthu who gave me a Christmas tape of various artists with Kenny Rogers' When a Child is Born in it. And I got hooked to the wonderful, deep, vibrating voice. Perhaps, for life!
Once, my bengali friend, Ghosh, asked me, if I heard Kenny Rogers' Scarlet Fever. I said 'No', and then quickly borrowed another tape, heard it, and loved it a lot. Ghosh is somewhere in India serving the Indian Civil Service - he was one of the few among my classmates who had worked hard and succeeded to go the IAS way! - but wherever he is now, I know he gave me a special bonding to this Country music artist.
When studying for my management degree, my punjabi friend, Karandeep Singh Mangat gave me "Twenty Greatest Hits of Kenny Rogers", and within a month I must have listened to the tape a hundred times, and knew at least six of those songs by heart!
But the tapes from my telugu friend, Christopher Joshua Dalavai - who became closest to me not just for music but for friendship for friendship's sake - got me sorely bitten by the Kenny Rogers bug. Those days, his brother was in the Gulf - that was a big thing in the late eighties - and Christo had a fantastic stereo sytem and an amazing collection of tapes.
I listened to KG music more and more and got to love it more and more. So much so that I had put up a large poster of Kenny Rogers in my room, torn from Sun magazine (the most & perhaps the only trendy mag for youth then), besides the poster of Jurgen Klinsmann torn from Sportstar. I used to convince my circulating library owner to allow me to tear these posters from old issues.
Once, when my sister's friends came and saw the poster, they laughed. "Instead of having film actresses' posters, your brother has got a poster of an old man with a white beard. Is your brother crazy??"
Well, in a way, I was really crazy about Kenny Rogers. Well, though the duets with Sheena Easton (We've got tonight), Dolly Parton (Islands in the Stream), Kim Carnes (Don't fall in love with a dreamer) are all his great hits, I love his solos, the rare 'Stranger' and the "Scarlet Fever' most. But of course all the world over he will be remembered for The Gambler, The Coward of the County, Lady, Lucille, Blaze of Glory, You Decorated my Life, ....I can go on, but I must stop.
I just thank God for music. And thank God for Friends!
PS: In the video above, observe Dolly Parton's dig at Sheena Easton who originally sang We've got tonight. And also at Kenny Rogers' wife Marianne.