“The Gambler” is a song written by Don Schlitz, recorded by several artists, most famously by American country music singer Kenny Rogers. Don Schlitz wrote this song in August, 1976 when he was 23 years old. It took two years of shopping the song around Nashville before Bobby Bare recorded it on his album “Bare” at the urging of Shel Silverstein. Bare’s version did not catch on and was never released as a single, so Schlitz recorded it himself, but this version failed to chart higher than No. 65. However, other musicians took notice and recorded the song in 1978, including Johnny Cash, who put it on his album Gone Girl. However, it was Kenny Rogers who made the song a mainstream success. His version was a No. 1 Country hit and made its way to the Pop charts at a time when Country songs rarely crossed over. It was released in November 1978 as the title track from his album The Gambler which won him the Grammy award for best male country vocal performance in 1980.