Technically, this is the official first album released by The First Edition to be credited to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, the first three albums listing the group as simply The First Edition. Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town dropped in 1969, and features the ensemble’s rendition of the Kris Kristofferson-written classic, Me and Bobby McGee. A brief recording history of this song… Roger Miller was the first to record it in ’69, followed by Gordon Lightfoot, then arguably most notably by Janis Joplin in ’70, just a few days before her death. The track is number two on side A, and is a great one-two punch following this album’s title track.
Shamefully, I tend to overlook Kris Kristofferson when casually picking a record with which to spin. Last night’s viewing of Taxi Driver lit a pop-country fire under my ass, which necessitated a spin of this album, The Silver Tongued Devil and I, featured in the above mentioned film. Much too much to absorb in one sitting, the craftwork of Mr. Kristofferson’s wordplay leaves little to be desired, and creates a picturesque landscape of trials and bitter tribulations, worthy of even the walking contradictions among us. Travis Bickle would certainly approve.