Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” was selected along with 25 other recordings by the Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) to be added to the National Recording Registry.
As part of the “class of 2017,” “The Gambler” was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and will become part of the now 500-track program that aims to preserve important pieces of audio to become part of America’s legacy.
In addition to “The Gambler,” Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” The Sound of Music soundtrack and radio coverage of the birth of the U.N. will all be added to the National Recording Registry this year.
Everyone knows Kenny Rogers’ 1978 hit version of the song, but “The Gambler” was written two years prior by Don Schlitz. “I actually wrote it in my head,” Schlitz said a press release. “To have anyone listen to any of your songs and appreciate any of them is miraculous, is great. To have Kenny Rogers sing one of your songs is way over the moon.”
Rogers, who stresses that the song is about more than a night at the casino, said, “The song was not written about gambling, it was written with a very personal look at life. To say I’m proud is an understatement. It speaks very highly for Don Schlitz’s writing ability. I am very impressed and appreciative of this great award.”