Billy, I’ve Got to Go To Town – IOTW Report

Billy, I’ve Got to Go To Town

Back when Kenny Rodgers was with the First Edition their follow up to their big hit “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” was “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town.”

Come to find out, the song (Ruby) was written (and performed) by Mel Tillis. There were a lot of country acts that took a stab (figuratively) at it, including the Statler Brothers and Waylon Jennings.

But the version most of us remember was Kenny Rodgers and the First Editions more main- stream take on the sad lament of the wounded veteran and his dissolving bond with his woman (wife? it’s unclear in the song). Watch

Turns out, Ruby was beyond reproach with a response song to her man’s pleading, recorded by Geraldine Stevens. Here

9 Comments on Billy, I’ve Got to Go To Town

  1. Loved the songs/tunes back when they weren’t written to glorify satanic themes and actually told stories common to the culture and daily struggle.

    My sad Sony is Harry Chapin and “Bummer” because I knew so many friends (black ones – Hey Jesse!) who lived it.

  2. Hasn’t “Ruby” been around long enough now to be considered part of the American Song Book? And then there’s “Long Black Veil” and “Paradise” which stand tall on their own as well. We’ve had some good ones, but I’m not hearing much that’s memorable lately. Remember “Old Town Road” with Lil Nash X? It blew up because of TikTok but just sort of disappeared all of a sudden? I couldn’t sing a line of that song to you now, but I could probably make my way through “Ruby,” and that makes it a standard.


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