Kenny Rogers Can't Hold 'Em Against Me

Published 4:32 pm Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kenny Rogers revealed in a recent interview that he takes “great pride in not writing hits.”

Good for him. We all need something to be proud of. Like ending a sentence with a preposition. If Kenny Rogers is really proud of not writing hit songs then more, or less, power to him, whichever way he wants it.

But let me put my cards on the table.

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I see his great pride and raise him a pair of high or inordinate opinions of my own superiority in that field of inexpertise.

With all due respect to Mr. Rogers and his musical neighborhood, I have written far fewer hits than he has. I've written about a dozen songs and every single-no pun intended-one of them never became a hit.

I don't mean to engage in the fine art of braggadocio.

But it ain't bragging if you can back it up to the porch and drive off with all the furniture, so to speak.

Despite the genuine feelings of self-worth shown by Mr. Rogers toward himself, his is an illusory conceit when compared to my own complete lack of what might be called song-hitness.

The truth is that I haven't got a single hit song to my credit.

So take that, Mr. Kenny Rogers.

Call it egotism.



Perhaps I do imply an unduly favorable idea of my own utter lack of hit songwriting. You may feel in comparing myself to Kenny Rogers I display hubris in its worst form.

But I can assure you that this is no exaggerated estimate of my own inabilities or lack of musical song hit attainment.

Nor am I indulging in ridiculous self-esteem or preoccupation with myself and my almost superhuman ability to avoid writing a hit song.


In the last half century-plus, nobody-and I mean nobody-has written fewer song hits than I have not written. If you lined up the song hits that have failed to come from my pen and guitar they would stretch from Nashville to Abbey Road via Motown and Memphis.

You can look it up.

I hold Kenny Rogers in high esteem but I cannot hold with his reaching toward a crown I covet for myself.

For more than 3,000 consecutive weeks I have avoided every list of hit songs. Let's Google “Ken Woodley Song Hits” together right now. Okay, we do find a decades-old album titled Alamo, by the band, Alamo, that featured Ken Woodley on organ but even someone else using my name was apparently unable to produce song hits.

One blogging reviewer wrote: “The album, however, appeared to be a vehicle for the organist Ken Woodley who wrote all the songs and sings all the vocals…The music/instrumentation is heavily organ based and very dated sounding (from 1971) and Woodley's vocals are not very good…I wouldn't waste your money on this release.”

So there, Kenny, take that to the bank.



The only other reviewer, I see now, has written that the album “has been one of the most influential things in my life to date…”

Okay, but he did say, “to date” and he never said influential in what way. The record may have influenced him to give up listening to music.

But even if that one guy liked the record it never became a hit and, regardless, I am not that Ken Woodley.

So not even someone with my name who is in a band that actually records an album can score a hit.

My hitless string continues.

So, Kenny, you got to know when to fold 'em.