A while back, I acquired the vintage Cathedrals album Prestigious Cathedral Quartet. It’s probably best-known for containing Danny Funderburk’s sugar stick “Somebody Touched Me” and the oft-covered “An Old Convention Song.” Other highlights include a sweet Roger Bennett song (“When the World Looks At Me”), and a subtly haunting closing number called “Next Time We Meet.”
But there was one song on the album that immediately caught my ear, because when I first heard it I had the nagging feeling that I had heard it somewhere before. It was track four, a Prodigal Son re-telling entitled “Come On In.” It didn’t take me long to realize how I knew the melody: It was identical to Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler!” All you nerdy collectors out there can break out the record for yourself and give the song a spin, and if you compare you’ll see that I’m right. If you don’t have the record, you can hear it on Youtube here (somewhat sped up from the original).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with “The Gambler” (though you don’t exactly have to be a country buff to have heard of it), I present a delightful performance of the classic from that immortal television series, The Muppet Show.
(Warning: Contains drinking, smoking, gambling metaphors, and a singing ghost. Proceed with caution.)
You know, it’s funny…the melody fits an awful lot better with “The Gambler” than it does with that Cathedrals song.