You couldn't have missed this on HBO in the early '80s: Kenny Rogers and 'Six Pack'
If you were a kid in the early '80s, when Showtime and HBO (along with MTV) with the three greatest channels on cable, chances are you saw Kenny Rogers and 1982's Six Pack about a dozen times.
I know it so well, I could probably recite it line for line for now if it came on TV, which sadly it rarely does anymore. Rogers played Brewster Baker, an aging stock car driver who's trying to make it back to the big time. Only his comeback attempt is sidetracked by a gang on kids (led by a young Diane Lane) who strip his race car. Turning them into the sheriff does not good; they work for him! So Baker finds himself becoming the reluctant father figure to the gang, who in turn help him make it to the bigs. In the meantime, he also has time to rekindle a relationship with the lovely Erin Gray. Trust me, it's better than it sounds.
Spoiler: The theme song, Love Will Turn You Around, is actually the answer to this week's podcast Name that '80s Tune segment. Click here to download the full podcast. And it's now an earmwork that has me thinking: Maybe it's time to do a Country in the '80s podcast sometime soon. We'll see. In the meantime...
5 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT SIX PACK:
1. Eighties geek icon Anthony Michael Hall makes his acting and singing debut in this movie. Bonus points if you can name any other movie that Hall sings in.
2. Burt Reynolds (Stroker Ace!) makes a cameo dressed as the character Bo "Bandit" Darville when he walks in front of Brewster and Lilah in the bar and says, "Hey Brew! You're going to win tomorrow."
3. Six Pack was the debut big-screen film for Rogers, who previously had done TV movies including The Gambler and Coward of the County. He wouldn't appear in another big-screen movie until 2001, when he's credited as "the pilot" in Longshot.
4. A TV series based on Brewster Baker was planned, featuring Don Johnson in the title role. The pilot failed and the series was canceled.
5. Love Will Turn You Around was a No. 1 hit on the country charts and reached as high as No. 13 on the pop charts in 1982.