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Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) – Challenge #195

This is a psychedelic rock song that was said to reflect the LSD experience, and it was intended to be a warning about the dangers of using the drug, but psychedelic rock was not the right medium to deliver this message.  The song was first released by Teddy Hill & the Southern Soul as a single in 1967 that was backed by ‘Stagger Lee’.  Jerry Lee Lewis, backed by members of The Memphis Boys, took the first crack at this song also in 1967, but his release came a month later and the song was never a single.  The chart-topping rhythm section at Chips Moman’s American Sounds Studio in Memphis, was featured on this rendition of the song and it appeared on Lewis’ album Soul My Way.

‘Just Dropped In (…)’ was next recorded by The First Edition (with Kenny Rogers on lead vocals) and it peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts.  This was Rogers’ first top ten hit and when the group sang this on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, it garnered them their first national TV audience.   It was the group’s second single, but he only hit from their eponymous album, The First Edition.  This song marked the start of things to come, with Rogers soon becoming the lead singer of the group and the group being renamed as Kenny Rogers & The First Edition.  Producer Mike Post gathered some of the top studio musicians and he reversed a few riffs to create the intro solo that was played by Glen Campbell creating a heavily compressed and a tremolo effect to achieve its sound.  Another studio guitarist, Mike Deasy, provided the acoustic lead guitar parts and Hal Blaine was brought in to do the backing.  Post used tricks innovated by The Beatles, like phasing and backward mastering, to give the song the trippy feel that was popular at the time.

This song was written by one of Kenny Rogers’s former high school friends.  Both Kenny Rogers and Mickey Newbury attended Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, Texas, in the mid-1950s.  Rogers went on to become a member of Country Music Hall of Fame and Newbury was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.  In high school, Kenny and his classmates formed a four-part harmony group called The Scholars and although Mickey wanted to be in that group, they passed on him because he wasn’t very good.  So, Mickey bought a guitar and practiced the whole summer, and when he finally came out of his house, he was too good for them, but him and Kenny remained good friends.  After writing the song, Newbury shared it backstage at a concert with Kenny Rogers, who was performing with the New Christy Minstrels at the time.

The New Christy Minstrels began with Randy Sparks, a singer/guitarist who started out in the late ‘50s mixing folk and folk-style songs with Broadway material.  A new version of the group was formed in 1962 that included Barry McGuire and he stayed in the group till 1965, which marked the end of the original conception of the group.  In 1966, Kenny Rogers joined the New Christy Minstrels along with Mike Settle, Terry Williams and Thelma Lou Camacho, but a year later these 4 musicians left to form their own ensemble, the First Edition.  The idea was to have four lead singers in the group, each singing and providing different sounds.  This group consisted of Mike Settle on rhythm guitar, and vocals, with Thelma Lou Camacho on vocals, Kenny Rogers playing bass, and singing vocals, Terry Williams on guitar, and vocals and Mickey Jones playing drums.  In 1976, after 9 years the group decided to disband.  When Rogers signed with United Artists Records, in the mid-1970s after the group split, he re-recorded the track for his Ten Years of Gold album.

After spending what he called “a night in hell,” songwriter Mickey Newbury said he wrote ‘Just Dropped In’ to warn people about the dangers of LSD.  Mickey felt this anti-drug song could tell people of the horrors that drugs will do to you.  Newbury said that some people jumped out of buildings and this was made famous later in 1969, when 20-year-old Diane Linkletter (Art’s daughter) took a leap from the kitchen window and plunged six floors to the sidewalk below, which started a rumor that she’d been high on LSD at the time and thought she could fly.  Texas born Nashville singer-songwriter country music outlaw Mickey Newbury said that this song is about junkies, and about a country boy’s attitude to a bad acid trip, and since there were so many pro-acid songs around back then, he figured that someone should show the other side.  The song indicated Newbury’s ability to paint a picture with words, but regrettably, the song was so catchy, so hip, so cool that the song’s meaning never came through.  The line, “Yeah, yeah, oh yeah, what condition my condition was in!” was added by the First Editions.

The song can be heard, almost in its entirety, during a psychedelic dream sequence in the Coen Brothers’ 1998 film The Big Lebowski.  The First Edition’s version of the song served as the backdrop for The Dude’s drug-fueled hallucination, cut specifically to go with the song, in which The Dude (Jeff Bridges) encountered Saddam Hussein as a bowling alley cashier before women dressed as bowling pins formed circles around him in some sort of Busby Berkeley (an American film director and musical choreographer) dance sequence.  By the time that part of the movie happened, enough WTF moments had unfolded that this was no big deal.

I woke up this morning with the sundown shining in
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within
I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in

I pushed my soul in a deep dark hole and then I followed it in
I watched myself crawling out as I was a-crawling in
I got up so tight I couldn’t unwind
I saw so much I broke my mind
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

Yeah, yeah, oh-yeah, what condition my condition was in

Someone painted April Fool in big black letters on a Dead End sign
I had my foot on the gas as I left the road and blew out my mind
Eight miles outta Memphis and I got no spare
Eight miles straight up downtown somewhere
I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in

I said I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in


The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as you could write about another Kenny Rogers song, or a New Christy Minstrels, or any song by Barry McGuire, or by Mickey Newbury.  You could also write about a bad trip that you had, or a good trip that you enjoyed.  You could write about Art Linkletter or the Smothers Brothers, or The Big Lebowski.  You could write about dropping on a friend to check on their condition.  You could write about a deep dark hole that you fell into.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about the time that you went bowling with Saddam Hussein, or if you were the person that knocked his head off the statue and went bowling with it.  You could write a post about being so uptight that you can’t unwind.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday on November 19 Dylan Hughes will be here with her First Line Friday.  I will be back on Friday, November 26 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Do You Love Me’.  You can either create a ping back to this post, or place your link in the comments section below.

About newepicauthor

My About Me section is meant to provide my readers with an honest picture of myself that gives a little bit of background information on who I am and I will wrap this up with a catchy image. I am a story teller and I like to use my imagination. I am interested in many things, but a few of my favorites are watching the NFL and playing golf. I do not like onions and I always make sure that my food does not contain any. I had two wonderful parents, my dad Herb Adams was a television repairman and my mother Mary Adams was mostly a stay at home mom. They are both deceased now and I miss them. I am a retired Electrical Engineer specialized in control systems. I held many different positions because I worked mostly as a consultant. I did work as a Substitute Teacher, for a while, but the kids were awful. I am happiest when I am writing, as this gives my life has a purpose. Forming a sentence with meaningful words that articulate my inner feelings is an everyday quest for me. Every writer needs to tell their story, and all writers have their own style. All stories starts off with characters, who are able to entertain the reader. Creating realistic lovable characters is the best way to tell a story. If you are able to develop characters that become real to you, then you will know exactly what they will do say and do next and this lets your story progress to the completion. Writing changes everything and having the calling to create something new through the power of words is much more than just making marks on a page. Once written, a book can be used by many people to learn and be entertained. The act of writing can be compared to the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle as it contains an inherent fuzziness, because various people may derive different meanings from reading the same words. You can never know the true nature of written words and the best I can do is hope is that people will understand the meanings that I am trying to convey. There are no clear-cut laws on how to write and it is impossible for me to determine how my readers react to my books.

13 comments on “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) – Challenge #195

  1. newepicauthor
    November 12, 2021

    Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    Kenneth Ray Rogers was an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. Rogers sold over 120 million albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling male artists of all-time according to the RIAA, with one Diamond album, 20 Platinum albums and 11 Gold. He recorded 24 #1 hits (including classics like ‘The Gambler’, ‘Lady’, ‘Islands In The Stream’, ‘Lucille’, ‘She Believes In Me’, and ‘Through The Years’), 12 #1 albums and 25 Top 10 country albums. Miraculously, he has charted a song within each of the last seven decades. His music has always crossed boundaries, with singles and albums finding frequent success on the Country, Top 40, and Adult Contemporary charts, and in a few instances, on the R&B and Christian charts. He was the first country artist to consistently sell out arenas, Rogers also achieved pop superstardom and reached the pinnacle of worldwide popularity and celebrity few artists have ever attained, performing live for millions of fans. Kenny Rogers had 28 Billboard Adult Contemporary Top 10’s, which ranks him fifth-best all-time, and he sent the most country #1’s to the top spot on Adult Contemporary (five of his eight AC #1’s were also country #1’s). He died from natural causes on March 20, 2020 at the age of 81.


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  3. Pingback: Friday MLMM Music Challenge #195 – sparksfromacombustiblemind

  4. Reena Saxena
    November 13, 2021

    I just dropped in to see what condition my condition is in …Beautifully rendered line.


    • newepicauthor
      November 13, 2021

      Yes very odd, but also catchy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reena Saxena
        November 13, 2021

        It leads to a lot of other lines like – Can my thoughts think, or can me feelings feel?


  5. Pingback: That’s not me – Reena Saxena

  6. Lorraine
    November 13, 2021

    I admit, I’ve never seen The Big Lebowski; I had to wiki it for context. I do remember the song, however, and didn’t realize it was anti-LSD! As to my condition, well, it’s been a while since I checked in to see . . . .
    Another great music prompt!


  7. Pingback: friday music challenge: riffing – Lorraine's frilly freudian slip

  8. Lorraine
    November 13, 2021

    For now, I riffed on Barry McGuire and versions/covers of Eve of Destruction. Placeholders in case I actually write something. Lots of self-confession could be forth-coming.


    • newepicauthor
      November 14, 2021

      Great post, I loved the new lyrics.


      • Lorraine
        November 14, 2021

        All new to me. Strange how some songs just lend themselves to new lyrics protesting much of the same things!


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This entry was posted on November 12, 2021 by in Music Prompt and tagged .
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