Kenny Rogers 1938 – 2020
Rogers was born in Houston on August 21, 1938. In 1956, Rogers was attending high school when he formed the doo-wop group The Scholars. The following year, Rogers saw minor success with the solo single “That Crazy Feeling.” Rogers went on to play upright bass in Bobby Doyle Three jazz outfit and in 1966 he joined The New Christy Minstrels folk group.
In 1967, Rogers formed The First Edition, which had hits with “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” “Reuben James,” “Something’s Burning” and “Tell It All Brother.” Rogers found wide solo success through his 1977 Grammy-winning song “Lucille.” His solo career continued to prosper with more hit singles like “Daytime Friends,” “Sweet Music Man,” and “Love Or Something Like It.” Rogers’ 1978 album The Gambler furthered his solo popularity behind the hit title track and TV film of the same name.
Rogers’ success continued in the 1980s behind the crossover hits “Islands In The Stream” with frequent collaborator Dolly Parton, “You Decorated My Life,” “She Believes In Me,” and “Through the Years.” Roger’s most popular song was “Lady,” which was written and produced by Lionel Richie who also produced the track. Rogers participated in the 1985 all-star charity single “We Are The World” and co-chaired the 1986 “Hands Across America” fundraiser.
Rogers was also an accomplished photographer and published several books of his photography. He continued touring and had later-career success with 1999’s “The Greatest” and 2000’s “Buy Me a Rose” and performed with Phish at Bonnaroo in 2012. In 2013, Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame induction and was the recipient of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, the Rogers family will hold a small private service, with a more public celebration planned for a later date.