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July 17

Before “The Gambler,” There was “Six Pack”

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In 1982, the movie “Six Pack” starred a debuting newcomer in the film industry, Kenny Rogers. For most of us today, the movie may not have a significant impact or we could have probably not known that it existed. However, it was one of the movies that were the most awaited back in the day.

Kenny Rogers first gained his popularity as a singer. Songs like “The Gambler,” “Lady,” “I Don’t Need You,” and “Through the Years” gave Rogers a great commercial success. Following this momentum, Rogers played the lead role as a racecar driver named “Brewster Baker.”

“Six Pack” and Country

Brewster Baker was re-aligning his thoughts about his return to the racetrack after facing defeat in his last race. He eventually met 6 kids that stole some auto parts. After chasing them, Brewster found out that the kids were orphans. Despite the several misadventures along the road, Brewster and the kids formed a bond. At the end of the movie, Brewster was able to pull out a successful comeback as a racer and the kids were able to find a home.

More than showcasing Rogers’ acting chops, “Six Pack” also highlighted the best of country music. Excluding the fact that one of the brightest stars in country music was playing the role, the movie used several country songs as soundtracks.

In a scene where Baker enters a bar, Merle Haggard’s “Rainbow Stew” was played in the background. Another country song was also played on one of the movie’s iconic scenes. This was when Baker, along with the six kids, was driving across the Tennessee border. The kids started singing an acapella version of “Rocky Top.”

More Movies

Along with the numerous hit songs he released, Rogers could be remembered for the long list of movies where he was featured, especially his role on “The Gambler.” The 1982 “Six Pack” film might not be his biggest movie role, but it showed what a Kenny Rogers could do on the big screen. He’s done a great job portraying the role of a rugged troubadour who was driven by big inspirations, but with a great mix of a tender spirit.

No one truly starts at the peak of success. You might have to face times of not bearing fruit, but just like with the late, great, Kenny Rogers, your first opportunity, no matter how small, deserves to be given a maximum effort. You’ll never know if that minimal opportunity is the key that will open up a greater path for you in the future.


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kenny rogers, merle haggard


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