I decided to go back in to the murky past for this song. I wanted to do it earlier, but was unable to find any material on it. But I found some this time. This song my Dad used to play all the time, and I would hear it on his "Reel to Reel" tape player.
His was either a "Sony" or a "Sanyo". I recall him telling me that he picked it up at the PX in Saigon. The sound quality was really good, Nothing from digital media, but there is something about an old fashioned Reel to Reel. He played this song and others a lot, I inherited some of my music taste from my Dad. This song struck a chord with the Vietnam War generation, and the later Veterans who have heard this song. The words can change a bit, but the emotions are the same.
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town" is a song written by Mel Tillis about a paralyzed veteran of a "crazy Asian war" (given the time of its release, widely assumed but never explicitly stated to be the Vietnam War) who lies helplessly in bed as his wife "paints [herself] up" to go out for the evening without him; he believes she is going in search of a lover, and as he hears the door slam behind her, he pleads for her to reconsider. The song was made famous by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition in 1969. "Ruby" was originally recorded in 1967 by Johnny Darrell, who scored a number nine country hit with it that year.
In 1977, now a solo act following the First Edition's split in early-1976, Rogers made re-recordings of this and a number of other First Edition hits for his 1977 greatest hits package Ten Years Of Gold (later issued in the British Isles as The Kenny Rogers Singles Album), which topped the US country charts and was just as successful in the United Kingdom.
A music video consisting solely of a camera panning back and forth in a bedroom was shown at the end of a Huntley-Brinkley Report during 1969. Chet Huntley set up the video by linking it to the controversial Vietnam War and the sacrifices by U.S. servicemen and their families. Chet Huntley and David Brinkley paused after the video and then signed off in their usual fashion. I was unable to locate the video despite searching "Youtube" and other web sites.