Country Throwback: Kenny Rogers Belts George Jones’ ‘Ol’ Red’ in 2006

by Atlanta Northcutt

Kenny Rogers takes George Jones’ classic “Ol’ Red” for a walk down memory lane, telling the tale of “the four-legged tracking machine.”

The song “Ol’ Red” is about the “damnedest dog” on a prison farm with “a nose that can smell a two-day trail,” catching every man who attempts to escape.

However, “Ol’ Red” finds love with a female hound, letting one prisoner go free.

Kenny Rogers Takes A Walk With “Ol’ Red”

The tune became one of Blake Shelton’s hits in 2002 during his early years on the country music scene. Shelton’s rendition reached the 14th spot on the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart. However, his version reached the highest spots on country music charts.

However, “Ol’ Red” has a long track record prior to Blake’s recording.

The original version was recorded by George Jones. The track was never released as a single and was placed on his album You Oughta Be Here with Me. Therefore, the song wasn’t well-known.

In 1993, love set “Ol’ Red” free when Kenny Rogers recorded his own version. Kenny’s single of “Ol’ Red” didn’t become nearly as popular as Shelton’s did. The single off of his album If Only My Heart Had a Voice never placed on the charts.

However, Rogers never stopped performing the song. Four years after Shelton hit it big with the tune about the old hound, Rogers sang “Ol’ Red” during a concert special recorded and later released to the public.

Kenny Rogers Take on George Jones’ Classic Tune

The special aired in 2006. With a band surrounding him, Kenny sits on a bench. His voice combined with the electric guitars and full-band turns the bluesy country song into one with a rocking groove sung in a story-like manner. It differs from Jones’ original country ballad, which Shelton gave a nod to.

Kenny Rogers belts the sound out with a raw raspiness in his deep voice. The same sound which made “The Gambler” and his other hits such unforgettable classics.

The Possum’s version updates the classic about escaping a Georgia prison with a little help from “Ol’ Red.”