Riverside, Iowa (May 10, 2014)
When Riverside Casino and Golf Resort was announced Kenny Rogers was doing two shows I dreamed about being able to ask Mr. Rogers about my favorite childhood song,”Just Dropped In.” Written by Mickey Newberry, produced by Mike Curb and recorded by The First Edition with Kenny Rogers, “Just Dropped In” became a 60’s pych anthem that remains an era anthem. To this day JDI joins my 60’s playlist along side Bubble Puppy, Crabbie Appleton and Frijd Pink.
My wishes were granted…
LIVE GIG SHOTS :”Just Dropped In” reached #5 on the Billboard top 100 in 1968. The First Edition shared the airwaves with The Seeds, Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Electric Prunes. Did you consider yourself a psychedelic Band?
KENNY ROGERS: I think I kind of considered us to be a light rock band with a psychedelic song.
LGS: Jerry Lee Lewis turned down “Just Dropped In” when he was asked to release it as a single, how did the song become a First Edition song and what was Mike Post’s involvement?
KR: I originally heard that Sammy Davis Jr. wanted to record it, but obviously he never did. Mike Post was the producer of the song with great insight.
LGS:”Just Dropped In” featured Glen Campbell on the now infamous guitar solo. Looking back did you have any idea the impact of that session?
KR: Not really. I think it was way over my head. Mike Post was the true visionary of that. The guitar solo got a lot of comments. You know it’s not just a regular song when you hear that kick in – [Glen’s guitar part and the production] cue you into something weird is going to happen. The subject matter of the song relays something weird in the music.
LGS:I have long been told that Jimi Hendrix said “Just Dropped In” was his favorite song of all time. Did you have any contact with Jimi?
KR: I did – he came to see us when we were working in Miami, and he walked in and sat at the bar at a little lounge, and I went over to say hello. He told me personally it was his favorite song ever.
LGS: In 1998, The Big Lebowski featured the song in its entirety which turned a whole new generation onto the 60’s classic. Were you excited to hear the song introduced to yet another generation of fans? Did you have any thoughts on the song being featured in the film?
KR:I was excited about the particular use of that song in that particular film because I thought it really displayed what the song was all about – which was confusion due to drugs. I thought they used it brilliantly.
LGS: When I listen now to “Just Dropped In”, I can hear strong country influences. If you released it today to a new audience …would you do it and if so would it be country or a mixture?
KR: I honestly don’t know how I would change that. I think it is what it is. From start to finish, I’m happy with the song. I wouldn’t know how to begin to make it a country song.
LGS: Your rise to superstardom has been well documented. Coming from Kenny Rogers and the First Edition to your present stature, do you have any advice for musicians that you could share?
KR:My mom told me “be happy where you are, never be content to be there, but if you’re not happy where you are, you’ll never be happy”, and that takes the pressure off of you.
Thanks to Mr. Rogers, Jason Henke, and Angie Mabeus for the interview and photo opportunity, You Rock!