Lucille (Kenny Rogers song)

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Single by Kenny Rogers
from the album Kenny Rogers
B-side "Till I Get It Right"[1]
Released January 24, 1977
Format 7" single
Genre Country
Length 3:42
Label United Artists
Writer(s) Roger Bowling
Hal Bynum
Producer(s) Larry Butler
Kenny Rogers singles chronology
"Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)"
"Daytime Friends"

"Lucille" is a song written by Roger Bowling and Hal Bynum, and recorded by American country music artist Kenny Rogers. It was released in January 1977 as the second and final single from the album Kenny Rogers. The song is about a man in a bar who meets a woman who has left her husband. It became Rogers' first major hit as a solo artist after leaving the successful country/rock group The First Edition the previous year. An international hit, it reached number 1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart and number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top of the UK Singles Chart in June 1977,[2] the first of Rogers' two number one singles there.[3]


Kenny Rogers explains how he was inspired to write the song "Lucille" on Dinah!, a daytime TV talk show (Season 3, Ep 124, aired 3/22/1977). Kenny says the story of Lucille began in the summer of 1958 when Kenny was near Tulsa, Oklahoma to help his uncle cut hay. During that time, a local TV channel, the CBS affiliate channel 6 KOTV had been broadcasting the voice of a heartbroken man whose wife had left him. His words were, "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille, with four hungry children and a crop in the field. We had some good times and we had some bad times..." This man was also broadcast on a few Tulsa area radio stations during that week. The man's words haunted Kenny for years and Kenny felt there was a great song in those few lines according to his interview with Dinah Shore on her daytime talk show. Kenny Rogers kept those words in his head and later got help from some other song writers (Roger Bowling and Hal Bynum) who took the lines that Kenny had heard in 1958 and created a song which became one of Kenny Roger's greatest hits. Kenny told Dinah Shore that he was expecting someone to stand up in one of his concerts and say, "Hey, that was me in your song." [4]

The song, told by the narrator (Rogers), tells the story of a man in a bar in Toledo, Ohio, who acquaints himself with a downhearted married woman named Lucille. An inebriated Lucille admits her unhappiness in life and a longing for adventure. Her husband arrives and approaches her and the intimidated narrator. The brokenhearted husband, starting to shake, scorns her for her inconvenient timing in abandoning him "with four hungry children and a crop in the field," leaving him with a "hurtin'" that refuses to heal. After the husband leaves, Lucille and the narrator make their way to a hotel room. The beautiful woman comes to the narrator, but is blindsided by his odd, sudden change of heart. In his mind, he recalls the recurring haunting words of her husband and feels unable to respond to her advances.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1977) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
Canadian RPM Top Singles 1
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 1
UK Singles Chart[2] 1
Irish Singles Chart 2
New Zealand Singles Chart 2
Swiss Singles Chart 3
Australia Singles Chart 7
Austria Top 40 8
Dutch Top 40 17

Cover versions[edit]

  • A cover version was recorded by Canadian artist Cœur de pirate, for her 2014 fifth-season soundtrack for the Canadian TV show, Trauma.
  • A cover version was recorded by American country music artist Billy Currington on his 2005 Doin' Somethin' Right album.
  • A cover version was recorded by American country music artist Waylon Jennings on his 1977 album Ol' Waylon
  • A German version, called Musst du jetzt grade gehen, Lucille?, was recorded by Michael Holm on his 1977 album called Poet der Straße.
  • A German version, called John Peel, was recorded by Norwegian singer Wencke Myhre on her 1978 album called Album.
  • South African singer Ray Dylan recorded a cover on his album Goeie Ou Country - Op Aanvraag.[5]
  • The song was recorded in Spanish (as "El Hombre del Norte") by Juan Pardo.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. pp. 360–361. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 340. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Kenny Rogers | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-03-28. 
  4. ^ Shore, Dinah (1977-03-22). "Dinah!". Dinah! CBS Talk show (Season 3, Episode 124) (CBS). CBS.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help);
  5. ^ Ray Dylan (2009-03-01). "Ray Dylan, Goeie Ou Country - Op Aanvraag, CDs, Musica A World awaits - 6005298026996". Retrieved 2014-03-28. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Southern Nights"
by Glen Campbell
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

April 2-April 9, 1977
Succeeded by
"It Couldn't Have Been Any Better"
by Johnny Duncan
Preceded by
"Heart Healer"
by Mel Tillis
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

April 16-April 23, 1977
Preceded by
"I Don't Want to Talk About It/The First Cut Is the Deepest" by Rod Stewart
UK Singles Chart number one single
June 18, 1977 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Show You the Way to Go" by The Jacksons