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Kenny Rogers:

A Star For All The Right Reasons

A singer of all kinds of songs

A singer of all kinds of songs

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I met Kenny Rogers in the 1980s in my role as Assistant to the Entertainment Director of the Las Vegas SUN newspaper. I was introduced to him backstage at one of the hotspots in town, where he was performing with Dottie West for a week. I reached out to shake his hand and he took it and covered it with his other one. He  smiled, looked down at me; (he’s tall, ladies!) those sparkling blue eyes and great smile just melted me there and then. But that’s not all there was to it. Kenny Rogers is a star for all the right reasons.

We Talked

We talked like two old friends; he was not at all like a big star speaking down to the  “little people” below. I was totally impressed, and that was not easy to do, for I had met other big stars before him; Bobby Vinton, Liberace, Debbie Reynolds and others. Reynolds came the closest to making me feel like I was an old friend, but none of them put me at ease as Kenny; talking with me like regular folks. He asked me how I enjoyed working for the paper; I asked him how he liked performing in Las Vegas. We talked, had some laughs and I felt I’d known him forever. I’ve grieved for years that I didn’t have a photographer with me or at least a camera. If it happened today I could simply use my cell phone to catch the two of us together, but remember this was in the 80s, before the advent of those wondrous things. Maybe it’s just as well…it would’ve seemed like taking a picture of a family member just to test the camera. I think of him more as a person, than I do as an entertainer, but the fact remains that he’s one of the biggest stars, and not only that, he has hits in folk, pop, rock and country music. Not many other performers have that unprecedented claim to fame. But you’d never know it when talking with him. He’s just Kenny!

A Long Successful Career

Kenny Rogers has racked up more than 120 hit singles in his decades long career, not all of them in the same genre. Some were folk/rock, some were country and some were…well…crossover hits that the pop and country crowd loved. But the man is a star for all the right reasons, the biggest being an enduring talent that never fades. But the reason that impresses me the most is that he’s just “folks” like you and me. That can’t be easy when you’ve made it to the top in your profession, but it seemed totally effortless, just a regular part of him.

Kenny Rogers Triumphed in Six Music Genres

Kenny Rogers, in his career, triumphed over six distinct musical genres; Country, Adult Contemporary, Pop, soft rock, rock and jazz. His career stretches from the 1950s through to the present day. No other vocalist has given us so much pleasure over so long a time and managed not to fall by the wayside of younger performers. Kenny Rogers IS the definition of “cool,” because he never goes out of style. This is due to his immense talent and his penchant for reinventing himself, whenever musical trends change. You can ask almost anyone about their favorite music, and at least one of their favorites will be by Kenny Rogers. This is a real coup d’etat in the music world, sorely envied by many other artists. Yet, this is how “cool” he is… even those who envy him, LIKE him.

There’s Always At Least One Favorite From Kenny Rogers


Number Ones

This album includes “Lucille,” “Daytime Friends,” “She Believes In Me,” and others.

You Can’t Make Old Friends

Rogers’ newest album, containing 11 recordings, is entitled, “You Can’t Make Old Friends,” and includes the title song as a duet with Dolly Parton, one of his favorite singing pals (remember “Islands In The Stream.”) He also includes a song “Don’t Leave Me In The Night Time,” with a performer loved by many, Buckwheat Zydeco. In addition to the new album, in October of 2013, Kenny was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Immediately afterward, he was honored with a tribute at the Country Music Association Awards. He was also presented with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. And to top it all off, he’s also an author of several books.

Duet With Dolly On This Album

 


You Can’t Make Old Friends

This is his newest album and features a duet with Dolly Parton, a song featuring Buckwheat Zydeco, and more. Old friends mean a lot to Kenny Rogers, but he loves meeting new ones too.

 

Famous Duets – One Of Which I Saw In Person


Kenny Rogers: The Greatest Duets

Famous duets with Dolly Parton, Kim Carnes, Dottie West and Sheena Easton include “Islands In The Stream,” “Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer,” “Every Time Two Fools Collide,” and “We’ve Got Tonight,” and more. This song, “Every Time Two Fools Collide” was so memorable the night I witnessed the performance of Kenny Rogers and Dottie West onstage in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was a wonderful night, these two people knew how to entertain an audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Early Years – With The First Edition

Good times rolled with Kenny Rogers and The First Edition. We couldn’t get enough of them. Here are a few of the hits they recorded together; “But You Know I Love You,” “Tell It All Brothers,” “Reuben James,” “I Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In,” and “Something’s Burning.” During his time with The First Edition, he wore long brown hair, an earring in his ear and pink sunglasses, to fit in with the hippie crowds.

 

 

 

 


Greatest Hits

Includes “Reuben James,” “Something’s Burning,” among other hits. Those were his years of rock ‘n roll. Remember the one about “I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In,) a paen to the condition a lot of us were in during that time of hearty partying.