On This Day: Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton Reach No. 1 With Seger’s “We’ve Got Tonight” in 1983

by Jim Casey

Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “We’ve Got Tonight” on April 9, 1983.

Kenny Rogers first made a name for himself fronting the psychedelic rock band The First Edition in the 1960s. By the mid-1970s, Kenny had embarked on a solo career that found him topping the charts with “Lucille” (1977), “Daytime Friends” (1977), and “Sweet Music Man” (1977).

Kenny Joins Forces

In 1978, Kenny Rogers added another facet to his Hall of Fame career: duets. In March 1978, Kenny teamed with Dottie West for the duet album, Every Time Two Fools Collide. The tandem topped the charts with the title track and scored another Top 5 hit with “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight.” Kenny and Dottie repeated the feat with a follow-up duet album, Classics, in 1979. Likewise, “All I Ever Need Is You” reached No. 1, while “‘Til I Can Make It on My Own” became a Top 5 hit.

In 1980, Kenny joined forces with Kim Carnes for “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer.” Featured on Kenny’s 1980 album, Gideon, the tune became another Top 5 hit.

Kenny was a dueting machine. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t afraid to take a risk.

‘We’ve Got Tonight’

In 1983, Kenny embarked on his most ambitious duet yet by teaming with Scottish pop star Sheena Easton on “We’ve Got Tonight.” Penned by Bob Seger, “We’ve Got Tonite” (subtle spelling change) became a Top 20 hit for the rocker in 1978.

Kenny and Sheena’s version was the title track to Kenny’s 14th studio album. Released in January 1983, “We’ve Got Tonight” topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart on April 9. Furthermore, the song also became a Top 10 hit on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Of course, Kenny released his most famous duet, “Islands in the Streams,” with Dolly Parton, later that year in 1983.

“I think the duets stand out,” said Kenny Rogers to Country Weekly magazine in 2014. “There were the ones with Dottie West and Sheena Easton. And my favorite was ‘Islands in the Stream’ with Dolly Parton. I believe that was voted the best country duet of all time. Duets are fun to do, but it takes the right partner for the right song. I always enjoyed them.”