Islands in the Stream

KrdpislandsIn 1983, I was a teenager living in suburban Bel Air, Maryland.  Back then, musical genres were still pretty much compartmentalized, with very little crossover.  For example, country stations played country music, and soul stations played soul music, and rock stations played rock music.  Prior to 1983, there were a few artists who transcended all the boundaries (like Johnny Cash, The 5th Dimension, and The Band), and got airplay on more than one radio station genre.  But, it wasn’t until the 80’s that it became very common (especially with artists like Journey and Michael Jackson).  A perfect example is of the hit, “Islands in the Stream;”  sung by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.  They came up with the perfect formula for a pop country song.  A formula which has been imitated by the likes of Garth Brooks, The Dixie Chicks, and Taylor Swift.  But, not only did Rogers and Parton succeed in a timeless country pop song, they also had incredible lyrics (written by The Bee Gees) for the crossover hit.  Have yourself a listen:
Some interesting trivia:  The B-side of the “Islands in a Stream” 45 was a song written by Dolly Parton.  It made Dolly very rich when Whitney Houston sang it.  That song was, “I Will Always Love You.”
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Filed under Bel Air, Maryland, Music

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