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Life of Kenny Ray Rogers

Updated on March 22, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

I'm interested in social issues, good relationships, problems of daily living, jobs, exercise and fiction and safer living conditions.

Facts About Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers passed away last night and he is a singer that will be missed. He was actually a singer, songwriter, record producer, actor and entrepreneur. He was born on August 21, 1938, in Houston, Texas and died on March 20, 2020, in Sandy Springs, Georgia of natural causes. In 2013, he was voted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. He was primarily a country music singer but he charted more than 120 hit singles in various music genres and he topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 weeks in the USA.

Kenny Rogers was one of the best singer stars as he sold over 100 million records worldwide. He was thought of as a very good singer and an all around good man. He sang many duets with various stars, including Dolly Parton who really loved this man.

The Gambler

In The Beginning

Kenny Rogers first sang with The Scholars, then he got started singing with jazz singer Bobby Doyle and the New Christy Minstrels in 1961. He played the double bass and bass guitar in addition to singing. He and the new Christy Minstrels founded a new group called the First Edition. Their first hit record was "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”. This psychedelic rock song reached number five on the Billboard charts.

Rogers took a leadership role over the years and in 1969, with “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town”. This band broke up between 1975 and 1976.

I feel like I learn something from everything I do.

--Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton - Islands in the Stream

Solo Artist

Kenny Rogers began performing as a solo singer but he sang several duets with singers like Dolly Parton, Sheena Easton and he had a songwriting partnership with Lionel Richie. In 1978, Rogers sang “The Gambler”, which won him a Grammy award in 1980. In addition, two of his albums, “The Gambler” and “Kenny” made him one of the most influential country albums ever. He also sang “Lady”, which was written by Lionel Richie.

Rogers was able to develop the Gambler persona into a successful character for a series of television films. His first album that was successful was “I Can’t Unlove You”.

My music was my life, and it played a large part in my inability to sustain relationships.

--Kenny Rogers

Marriages

  1. Rogers married five times, first to Janice Gordon in 1958 and divorced in 1960. They had a daughter named Carol Lynn.
  2. Then, he married Jean in October, 1960 but divorced in 1963.
  3. His third marriage was to Margo Anderson in Oct. 1964 and divorced in 1976.
  4. Next he married Marianne Gordon in Oct. 1977 and divorced in 1993. They had one child.
  5. His fifth marriage was to Wanda Miller in June 1997 and they had twin sons. They stayed married for the twenty two years until Rogers died.

Source

Kenny Rogers - We've Got Tonight (With Sheena Easton)

Awards and Later Career

Rogers received numerous awards including the AMAs, Grammys, ACMs and the CMAs. In 2003, he also received the lifetime achievement award as he had a career that spanned six decades. He was voted as the “Favorite Singer of All Time” in 1986. Two of his other well-known songs are “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Through the Years”. Rogers sold over 120 million albums over the years.

Rogers had 24 number one hits throughout his career. He sold fifty million albums in the United States alone. In 1985, he participated in singing “We Are the World” with three dozen other singers. He then co-chaired “Hands Across America”, which raises awareness concerning the homeless and the hungry in the U.S.

He co-founded a chain of restaurants called Kenny Rogers Roasters that was in collaboration with the former Kentucky Fried Chicken CEO John Y. Brown Jr. These restaurants closed in the U.S. but they are still open in Asia. He also publish his autobiography.

He toured on a regular basis until he chose to retire in 2017. He acted in television shows and in movies. He acted in The Gambler and the MacShayne series for The NBC Mystery Movie and the Six Pack in 1982.

He had a farewell show in 2017 that featured his most popular songs and there were several of his closests friends.

Remembering Kenny Rogers

Final Thoughts

Kenny Rogers was loved by many people and he is a legend. His family states they will have a small, private family service due to their concern about the coronavirus. They would like to celebrate his life at a later date, according to his publicist. He will be missed by many.

Many singers have made statements at this time, including Dolly Parton, Blake Shelton and many others.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    26 hours ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa,

    I am glad you found this article interesting. Rogers was such a good sinner.

    I apprecate your comments. Have a nice weekend, Alyssa.

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    40 hours ago from Ohio

    What an interesting article! I was sad to hear of Kenny's passing. I didn't become a fan of his until later in my life, thanks to my husband who introduced me to his music. :)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Shauna,

    I agree about his voice and his looks. I always enjoyed him so much. I appreciate your comments.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    2 days ago from Central Florida

    He certainly will be missed, Pamela. I remember The First Edition as Kenny Rogers and The First Addition, but I haven't seen it stated that way in anything I've read about his life or death.

    I've always loved his voice. He's not bad to look at, either!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lora,

    I'm glad you learned wome new facts about Kenny Rogerss. I appreciate your coments about this very good singer.

  • Lora Hollings profile image

    Lora Hollings 

    3 days ago

    He was a great country singer and he really cared about other people too. I learned a lot about him from your article. I didn't know that he sang with the New Christy Minstrels nor did I know that he played the double bass and bass guitar. I loved the songs, The Gambler and Lady. A wonderful performer. Excellent article about his life, Pamela. Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    3 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy,

    It is a small world. Thank you so much for your comments, Peggy.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    4 days ago from Houston, Texas

    It's a small world. Yesterday my husband was talking to a former employee and friend of his that used to play basketball with Kenny Rogers when they were in school together in their younger days.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    4 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Liz,

    I enjoyed learning more about Kenny Rogers as I always thought he was a good singer. I appreciate your comments.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    4 days ago from UK

    This is a great memorial to Kenny. I have been interested to learn about his early career.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Raymond,

    I am not surpirsed that your wife enjoys that song as it is one of m favorites as well. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • raymondphilippe profile image

    Raymond Philippe 

    5 days ago from The Netherlands

    Thank you for paying tribute to this singer. While I was reading it I played Islands In The Sun. My wife had me turn up the volume!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ruby,

    I really liked him too and I know he wasn't touring any more but I sill hat that he died. I was surprised about the marriages also. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    5 days ago from Southern Illinois

    Kenny was one of my favorite singers. I saw him in person in the 70's in Vegas. He was with a group called The Editions and he wasn't famous. He was playing in a small room, not the big stage, but I knew he was special. I enjoyed your article. I didn't know that he had been married 5 times.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    5 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi MG,

    I really like Kenny Rogers and was happy to write about his life. He was known around the world for some of his best songs.

    I appreciate your comments.

  • emge profile image

    MG Singh 

    5 days ago from Singapore

    Kenny Rogers was a great singer and I loved his songs. Sad, the legend is no more. You deserve credit for highlighting his life and songs.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lorna,

    So many people really liked Rogers. I appreciate your comments.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    6 days ago

    An all time favourite of my parents Pamela and a great loss to the world of country music, which is so popular here in Ireland. A wonderful tribute.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Cheryl,

    Yes, he was amazing. Thank you for commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi OLUSEGUN,

    Thank you so much for your comments.

  • OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

    OLUSEGUN 

    6 days ago from NIGERIA

    This is wonderful. We all learn on a daily basis from everything we do. I enjoyed reading this.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish,

    I love those duets too. It is a shame the virus prevents us from honoring someone like Rogers. I hope some of the people he sang duets with will have a show to honor him eventually. Thanks for your comments.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    6 days ago from USA

    I really liked his music in the 2979s and 80s, particularly his duets with Dolly, Sheena and others. It’s sad that the pandemic prevents us from honoring the lives of people we are losing during this time.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy,

    I think he was a generous man and absolutely multi-talented. I appreciate your comments.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    6 days ago from Houston, Texas

    He was a multi-talented man, and he will be missed. Fortunately for us, we will still be able to enjoy Kenny Rogers' songs. He will also be remembered for his acts of charity.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    I love the music of the New Christy Minstrels and of Kenny Rogers. He was so talented. He and Dolly Parton had a long term friendship. I agree that she seems heartbroken. Thanks so much for your comments, Linda.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    6 days ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, I think I had every album by the New Christy Minstrels. Kenny Rogers was certainly multi-talented. He could perform in just about every genre of music.

    I heard a brief interview with Dolly Parton yesterday. She was truly heartbroken. He will be missed by many. How sad that we will have to wait (perhaps a long time) for any tributes because of Covid-19.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this article together.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    Seeing him in person at your job sounds great. He was such a good singer. I appreciate your comments.

  • lindacee profile image

    Linda Chechar 

    6 days ago from Arizona

    I always enjoyed Kenny Rogers especially his songs in the 1980s. I saw him in 1987 at a sales conference when he performed for our company. It was great.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill,

    It does seem like he was around singing for so many years. I think he was liked by people with varied tastes in music. He will be missed. Thanks for you comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Heidi,

    The Gambler is my favorite song of his also. He is a legend.

    My husband and I are keeping a very low profile so we are healthy right now. I wish the same for you, Heidi. Thanks for commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Devika,

    I was surprised by the number of marriages also but he was a great singer. He lived to 81 years of age, so that is a pretty good life.

    I loved his songs too. I appreciate your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Manatita,

    We do become wiser as we get older and he made a comment once about believing in the Lord, so he is rejoicing now. Thank so much for your comments, Manatita.

  • Cheryl E Preston profile image

    Cheryl E Preston 

    6 days ago from Roanoke

    He was amazing.

  • manatita44 profile image

    manatita44 

    7 days ago from london

    He was a giant of a man and a very beautiful singer as is our Dolly. He has left his mark for the Divine. I'm happy that he settled in his last marriage, but we become wiser as we get older. He inspired millions!

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    7 days ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Kenny Rogers was a great singer and I listened to his songs in the 70s lived it! You have put together an informative and well written hub.

    I like the photos and I learned lots from this hub about Kenny Rogers. I had no idea he was married five times.

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 

    7 days ago from Chicago Area

    I opened HP and saw your article. I hadn't yet seen the news. Thanks for sharing this tribute to a country legend! My fave song is The Gambler. Hope you're staying well and positive!

  • bdegiulio profile image

    Bill De Giulio 

    7 days ago from Massachusetts

    Hi Pam. A great talent whose career spanned decades and generations. It seems like he’s been singing and acting for my entire life. He will certainly be missed.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    7 days ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill,

    I think he reached across various types of music in his popularity as you said. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    7 days ago from Olympia, WA

    Listening to Kenny Rogers was even cool during the hard rock of the 70's, which is saying quite a bit about his popularity. He was a generational talent and personality.

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