Personnel: Kenny Rogers (vocals); Billy Sanford, Ray Edenton, Jimmy Capps, Randy Dorman, Jerry Shook, Rick Harper, Tony Joe White, Reggie Young (guitar); Pete Drake (steel guitar); Sheldon Kurland, Byron Bach, George Binkley, Marvin Chantry, Roy Christensen, Carl Gorodetzky, Lennie Haight Steven Smith, Gary Vanosdale, Pamela Vanosdale (strings); Steve Glassmeyer (soprano saxophone, keyboards, background vocals); Gene Golden (keyboards background vocals); Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Thomas Cain (keyboards); Edgar Struble (clavinet, ARP synthesizer, congos, background vocals); Jerry Carrigan (drums, percussion); Bobby Daniels, The Jordanaires, Randy Dorman, Mickey Newbury, Bill Medley (background vocals). Recorded at Jack Clement Recording Studio, Nashville, Tennessee. Kenny Rogers was already a star before he released THE GAMBLER in 1978. However, this was the album that established his legend, to the point that the white-bearded singer made several TV movies loosely based on this semi-concept album. In fact, this record's two hit singles are essentially the twin templates of the rest of his career. One, the title track, is a pure country story-song with a moral at the end; the other, the swelling "She Believes in Me," is a lush piece of easy-listening pop, with full orchestral accompaniment, that makes Ray Price's early-'70s singles sound like Jimmie Rodgers. Rogers would become a very rich man, indeed, spinning variations on those two styles in the following years, but THE GAMBLER remains one of his most cohesive and enjoyable albums.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop