Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Scarlet Fever" by Kenny Rogers

Song#:  1569
Date:  08/20/1983
Debut:  94
Peak:  94
Weeks:  2
Genre:  Country

Pop Bits:  Although Rogers' We've Got Tonight album was still a platinum success, its mix of pop and country crossover seemed to confuse listeners and radio stations. While multiple formats embraced the hit title track (#6 Pop, #1 Country, #2 AC), follow-up singles seemed to draw division lines. "All My Life" was a bit of a miss at Pop (#37) and Country (#13), but did well at AC (#2). This third single failed to chart at AC while barely making the Pop chart. However, it returned Rogers to the Country Top 10 reaching #5. He would continue to straddle the formats with his next two albums, but like this one, the results would be varied.

ReduxReview:  If Rogers had released this song a few years earlier, it probably would have done better at Pop. By this time in the 80s, this style of country was not playing well on Pop radio and it got ignored. I don't think it would have been a major hit, but I think Pop would have embraced it in the same way it did for something like "Coward of the County" (1979, #3 Pop, #5 AC, #1 Country). But chances are this single was meant to keep Rogers relevant on the Country chart after two big pop-oriented singles and its Pop results really didn't matter. The tune itself it very well-written. It's not a song that grabs you and makes you want to hit the repeat button several times, but it is quality material.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was written by Mike Dekle. He originally recorded the tune as a solo artist in 1982 and released it as a single. Despite being recommended by Billboard magazine in its weekly picks, the song failed to make the Country chart. However, it did get a little airplay and one person to hear it on the radio was Kenny Rogers, who ended up recording it for his next album. Dekle continued to record as a solo artist, but he could only manage to put two singles in the lower rungs of the Country chart in 1984. He would have better success selling his songs to other artists. "Scarlet Fever" was his biggest hit as a songwriter until 2011 when Dekle co-wrote "Country Must Be Country Wide" with Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford. Gilbert would take the song to #1 at Country and #50 Pop.


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