How about the fact that the song brought Mel Tillis back into our conciousness? When I first held a copy of the KR single I thought, "alright,a Mel Tillis composition".Then,I thought back to the "I Ain't Never" days.Good writer. Just a case of different strokes for different folks I guess. Russ;
Johnny Darrell's version was recorded in July 1966, released as a single in February 1967. Waylon Jennings recorded it in September 1966, but released it only as an album track in August 1967. Both ways, Johnny Darrell's version came first, but more importantly this was the song's first single release, and a country hit.
I always hated Kenny Rogers and especially this song. It was only much much later that I discovered Johnny Darrell and heard his version. It's just a different song, poignant and infinitely sad, not a drawn-out violent threat.