Kenny Rogers

  • Country music singer/songwriter born in 1938 in Houston Texas. Died in March 2020 while in hospice care.
  • As a teenager, he performed in rock & roll bands, and in 1957, he recorded a song That Crazy Feeling that charted. In the early 60s, he joined a jazz trio, The Bobby Doyle Three, and recorded several songs. After the group broke up, Rogers did session work for other musicians, including Eddy Arnold and Mickey Gilley. In 1966, he joined The New Christy Minstrels as as singer and double bass player.
  • After a year, he wanted more control of his future, so he and several members of The Minstrels formed a new band, The First Edition (later called Kenny Rogers and the First Edition). They recorded and performed for 10 years, producing singles that ranged from rock to country rock to psychedelic rock, with worldwide success. Their biggest single was a country song in 1969, Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town.
  • In 1976, Rogers signed a recording contract and started his solo career. He became one of the biggest stars in country music, and his music also crossed over to pop. Eleven of his albums hit #1 on the Country chart, with a Greatest Hits album also hitting #1 on the Billboard 200 chart, selling over 12 million copies in the U.S. His biggest selling studio album was 1978’s The Gambler. 
  • Rogers had 9 singles that were top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart, including 2 that hit #1 – Lady and Islands in the Stream (a duet with Dolly Parton). He dominated the Country chart, with 21 singles hitting #1, beginning with Lucille in 1977, and ending with Buy Me a Rose (with Alison Krauss and Billy Dean) in 1999.
  • He also was one of the soloists in the USA for Africa charity single We Are the World, released in 1985, which sold over 20 million copies.
  • He released 30 studio albums and 80 singles in his career. His Christmas albums have been very popular – he has released 9 Christmas albums, 2 of which sold over 2 million records in the U.S. He has won 3 Grammy awards, for Lucille, The Gambler, and Make No Mistake She’s Mine (with Ronnie Milsap). He has had at least one song reach a Billboard chart in 7 different decades, from the 50’s to the 10’s.
  • He performed in 14 TV movies and 1 Hollywood film between 1973 and 1994. His role in 5 of the TV movies was Brady Hawkes as The Gambler, created from his hit song.
  • His 2012 autobiography made the New York Times Best Seller list soon after its release.
  • Rogers announced in 2015 that he would retire after his farewell tour, titled The Gambler’s Last Deal. His final concert will be on October 25 in Nashville.
  • Kenny Rogers songs are upbeat pop country classics. Certainly, he is one of the defining sounds of country music when country music crossed over to the mainstream. Here’s his famous song, with that famous country voice, The Gambler. You gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em!”

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