Did Kenny Rogers Sing The New People Theme Song?

Singer and actor Kenny Rogers died yesterday (March 20th) at the age of 81. For more than 20 years, I’ve wondered if he sang the theme song to The New People (ABC, 1969-1970).

Why? Prior to embarking on a wildly successful solo career in the mid-1970s, Rogers was a member of the rock band The First Edition (later known as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition). According to the closing credits to the series premiere of The New People, the theme song “The New People” was sung by The First Edition, with music and lyrics by Earle Hagen.

Still from the closing credits to The New People.
Still from the closing credits to the first episode of The New People (ABC, 1969-1970).

I’ve always assumed The First Edition listed in the closing credits is the same The First Edition that featured Kenny Rogers, Mickey Jones, Mike Settle, and others. But I don’t know for sure. If it is, does that mean Kenny Rogers sang the theme song?

Here’s audio of the closing theme song from the series premiere:

Does that sound like Kenny Rogers during his years with The First Edition?

12 Replies to “Did Kenny Rogers Sing The New People Theme Song?”

  1. wishfull drinking?? rodgers was never a studio/ jingles singer.. glenn campbell started with that-( and instrumentals….)The – unionized tv singers were on the west coast.. JOHNNY MANN BROKE AWAY FORMING HIS OWN CO.. FOLLOWING up with GROuPS LIKE the COWSILLS ——- POST love american style—- etc etc. HOWEVER keep listening– this writer searched for the disney world of color studio singer credits to no avail,,,,,,,,,,,,

  2. It proably is Kenny Rogers since I know the group did a variety show called Rolling On The River in 1971! And Rogers DEFINITELY did lead vocals on “Just Dropped In”! He performed it on both Laugh-in and the Smothers Brothers, but most people know that song from the bowling dream in The Big Lebowski!

    1. Having finally heard the song, it was definitely the First Edition, but Kenny proably dropped out…to see what condition his condition was in! Yeah, Yeah, Oh Yeah!

  3. interesting…. by 1964 1965===THE GROWING TV= POP BUSINESS TOOK OFF IN DISTINCT COMPETITIVE,, groups … four star spawned aaron spelling.( pre danny thomas porductions)– warner bros…….then .(. FILMWAYS..) then Screen gems……. NBC cBS ABC all had their own unionized singers…….sound clips are proof;; but on the west coast==THE JOHNNY MANN’S STORY IS UNIQUE—- a botched drug bust summer 64 on LAKE ARROWHEAD first linked glenn campbell; the beach boys and regrettably CHARLES MANSON….{..IM NOT AWARE IF THE JOHNNY MANN GROUP didnt pull their biography from the net when they first set up their tribute page yrs ago….}…THE BEACH BOYS GOT THE DEAL FOR THE SONG ON NBC 90 bristol court; REMEMBER…

  4. alas and with perfect timing” the reelz channel just had it’s glenn campbell– medical scandall/ scoop//// and THAT SUMMER 1971 .. if you’ll recall…tv had a brief variety/ music review with robert klein// mamma cass… and madeline kahn..plus .others.)……SING YOU OWN KIND OF MUSIC). ….&…….. it was ceiled in between the final year of thE SMOTHERS BROTHERS OWN SHOW…..worth remembering that buffalo springfield and neil diamond in early 1967 got their tv break with cameos in MANNIX..// later on–.. whiskey a go g o GOT FEATURED ON THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES WHERE MISs HATHAWAY even got to do the frug….remember??– exposure on network tv for singers was so provocative,,, SEE FRANK ZAPPAS FIRST FILM MONDO HOLLYWOOD FOR THE SKELETON KEY TO BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL.. RICHARD SEBRING…GYPSY BOOTS…. and finally linking to TERRY MELCHER… stay tuned

  5. Rogers was with The First Edition from ’67-’76 and the theme would have been recorded in ’69 (maybe ’68) so he almost certainly did.

  6. perfectly timed; THE DOCUMENTARY film THE WRECKING CREW is still making the rounds……….from pbs to YOU TUBE////// RIGHT NOW’..the funniest annecdote is how when Jack Jones made his tv debut on variety show ^.. he was forced to change the lyric from LOT OF LIVIN’ from birdie to CHEVROLET..{{{..that original lyric was CADILLAC.}}.. so…. sing it their way or else……. funny DINAH SHORE wasnt even in the wings.. did jones ever appear on her show??

  7. It’s really something that Kenny Rogers sang a song written by the guy who wrote the music for the Andy Griffith Show.

  8. ITS TRULY REMARKABLE===== no sooner …the DAILY MOTION finally got the source to upload a new digital claifying copy of THE THRILL OF IT ALL with the Johnny Mann singers!!!!====UNIVERSAL STUDIOS AT THEIR VERY BEST====this venue here is a perfect place to declaim and confirm what this writer knew all along.. the hollywood roots to ROSEMARY}S BABY of IRA LEVIN fame .. gave Roman polansky and his crew a perfect green light for what would fatefully ensue over 4 years.. THE SKELETON KEY TO THE MANSON MURDERS IS THE WORD PIG!! as iin doris days most humiliating moment in front of the tv cameras!!– the details of both movies mentioned are in such sync.. THIS IS NO MERE COINCIDENCE”’ Go see polansky’s diallogue on the dvd set for ROSEMARYS BABY…. the mystery is indeed solved right here.. Vincent buglios was indeed an outragious sham and bottom feeding opportunist

  9. alas// sonny curtiss was the lucky one– HE FOUND WORK IN COMMERCIAL SINGING!! even AMEIcAN pies
    DON MCLEANLC found jingLe singing voiCE overs for a paycheCk– BET YOU DIDNT KNOW ALL TH’E THINGS THAT GO INTO SHAKE & BAKE REMEMBER???

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