Lucille

Album: 42 Ultimate Hits (1977)
Charted: 5 1

Songfacts®:

  • This song, about an unfaithful wife who walks out on her husband and four children at an inopportune moment, was written by Hal Bynum and Roger Bowling. The latter also wrote "Blanket On The Ground" for Billie Jo Spears. Other hits written by Bynum include "The Old, Old House" (George Jones, Bill Monroe) and "Chains" (Patty Loveless).
  • The song was inspired by real-life events, as Bynum's own marriage was in trouble when he started writing this tune. He was struggling with the temptation of another woman's amorous advances and as his wife was preparing herself for a trip away, Bynum said, "You picked a fine time to leave me." Bowling then helped Bynum in altering the song to a barroom situation, inspired by the sight of a couple arguing at the Greyhound bus station in Toledo.
  • "Lucille" was Kenny Rogers' first major hit as a solo artist after leaving his band The First Edition the previous year. An international success, it was the first of 21 Country #1s for the singer.
  • Rogers told Q magazine April 2009 that every night he does a show and he begins this song, he can guarantee that in the first four rows there will be someone who says, "Hey, my name is Lucille." He added: "They always think they are the first person to think of it. You can't fight it. I must have covered most of them by now."
  • Kenny Rogers' mother was named Lucille; when she heard the song, she called her son to admonish him because she thought it was about her. Kenny explained that he didn't write the song, and no reasonable person would think that Mrs. Rogers would leave four hungry children to cheat on her husband. Lucille Rogers actually had eight children.
  • This won the 1977 Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance and was the winner of the CMA award for Single Of The Year.
  • In ribald piano bars, the crowd will sometimes shout back some very disparaging things about Lucille (typically ending with you ask for more) after the line, "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille."

Comments: 12

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI liked this song, but I also liked a parody that included the line, "You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille...just brought in a gusher out there in the field."
  • William Okabp Achol from Lira,ugandaThe most moving song on women undependability by a most brilliant artist. This song endures and Kenny lives through it.
  • C.g. Dee from Big D, Texas, UsaI've been reading about KR, who died, age 81, March 20, 2020. Songfacts, like VH1 of yore's Behind the Music, really gets into the backdrop of songs and the industry. To struggling artists of any variety, Kenny is worth one researched and well sourced bio. He paid some dues, folks. RIP, old man of song and stage.
  • C.g. Dee from Big D, Texas, UsaA very good tune by which to have started part 2 of a very long career, Geico commercials or no Geico commercials. You picked a fine song to sing there, Big K. With millions of listeners and some stoned out DJs. Been listening to it for 43 years. Slapped me over the head hard in early March, 2020.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaKate the lyrics are four hungry children, not 400. She would have left a long time ago before the number got that high. Or else have shot her hubby.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaDave, you are like me, after I heard about DW singing that version after he had won a race because someone's wheel came off the car.
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiMy sister in law thought he said "with four hundred children and a crop in the field"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 17th 1977, Kenny Rogers performed "Lucille" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Three months earlier on March 20th, 1977 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on June 12th it peaked at #5 (for 2 weeks) and spent 19 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on March 27th, 1977 it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart...
    It also peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart (also reached #1 on the Canadian Country chart)...
    Between 1976 and 2005 as a solo artist he had thirty-two Top 100 records; eight made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Lady" (for 6 weeks in 1980) and "Islands In The Streams" (for 2 weeks in 1983, a duet with Dolly Parton)...
    Mr. Rogers will celebrate his 76th birthday this coming August 21st, 2014.
  • Jim from Raleigh, NcHard to imagine. She really could have picked a better time. Right after harvest, for instance.
  • Dave from Cullman, AlI sing a version of the chorus everytime I see a wheel come off a race-car at an inopportune time--"You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel..."
    :-D
  • Kate from Perth, Australianot to mention their four hundred children
  • Jim from Raleigh, NcHow could any woman leave a man when he has crops in the field?
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