Kenny Rogers

Last updated

Kenny Rogers
KennyRogers.jpg
Rogers in 1997
Background information
Birth nameKenneth Ray Rogers [1]
Born(1938-08-21)August 21, 1938 [2]
Houston, Texas, U.S. [2]
DiedMarch 20, 2020(2020-03-20) (aged 81)
Sandy Springs, Georgia, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
  • record producer
  • entrepreneur
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • bass guitar
Years active1956–2017
Labels
Associated acts
Website Official website

Kenneth Ray Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter, musician, actor, record producer, and entrepreneur. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. [3] Rogers was particularly popular with country audiences but also charted more than 420 hit singles across various genres, topping the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States alone. He sold more than 100 million records worldwide during his lifetime, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. [4] His fame and career spanned multiple genres: jazz, folk, pop, rock, and country. He remade his career and was one of the most successful cross-over artists of all time. [5]

Contents

In the late 1950s, Rogers began his recording career with the Houston-based group the Scholars, who first released "The Poor Little Doggie". After some solo releases, including 1958's "That Crazy Feeling", Rogers then joined a group with the jazz singer Bobby Doyle. In 1966 he became a member of the folk ensemble the New Christy Minstrels, playing double bass and bass guitar as well as singing. [5] In 1967, he and several members of the New Christy Minstrels left to found the group the First Edition, with whom he scored his first major hit, "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)", a psychedelic rock song which peaked at number five on the Billboard charts. As Rogers took an increased leadership role in the First Edition following the success of 1969's "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town", the band gradually changed styles to a more country feel. The band broke up in 1975–76, and Rogers embarked on a long and successful solo career, which included several successful collaborations, including duets with singers Dolly Parton and Sheena Easton and a songwriting partnership with Lionel Richie. His signature song, 1978's "The Gambler", was a crossover hit that won him a Grammy Award in 1980 and was selected in 2018 for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. He developed the Gambler persona into a character for a successful series of television films starting with 1980's Emmy-nominated Kenny Rogers as The Gambler . [5]

Rogers' albums The Gambler and Kenny were featured in the About.com poll of "The 200 Most Influential Country Albums Ever". [6] He was voted the "Favorite Singer of All Time" in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and People . [7] He received numerous awards, such as the AMAs, Grammys, ACMs, and CMAs as well as a lifetime achievement award for a career spanning six decades in 2003. [8] Later success included the 2006 album release Water & Bridges , an across-the-board hit that hit the Top 5 in the Billboard Country Albums sales charts, also charting in the Top 15 of the Billboard 200. The first single from the album, "I Can't Unlove You", was also a sizable chart hit. Remaining a popular entertainer around the world, he continued to tour regularly until his retirement in 2017. [5]

Rogers had acting roles in movies and television shows, including the title roles in Kenny Rogers as The Gambler , the MacShayne series for The NBC Mystery Movie , and the 1982 feature film Six Pack . He was a co-founder of the restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters in collaboration with former Kentucky Fried Chicken CEO John Y. Brown Jr. Although the stores closed in the United States, they are still a fixture in Asia.

Early life

Rogers was born the fourth of eight children on August 21, 1938, at St Joseph's Infirmary in Houston, Texas. [2] His parents were Lucille Lois (née Hester; 1910–1991), a nurse's assistant, and Edward Floyd Rogers (1904–1975), a carpenter. Rogers was said to be of Irish and Native American ancestry. [9] Rogers attended Wharton Elementary School, [10] George Washington Junior High School, and graduated from Jefferson Davis High School (now Northside High School) in 1956.

In 1949, Rogers won a talent show at the Texan Theatre. He served as a busboy at the Rice Hotel and swept floors at a hat store for $9 a week. He later attended the University of Houston. [11]

Career

Early career

In a recording career dating back to the 1950s, Rogers moved from teenage rock and roll through psychedelic rock to become a country-pop crossover artist of the 1970s and 1980s. He had a minor solo hit in 1957 called "That Crazy Feeling". [5] [12] [13] After sales slowed down, Rogers joined a jazz group called the Bobby Doyle Three, who were frequently hired by clubs due to their fan following. The group recorded for Columbia Records. They disbanded in 1965, and a 1966 jazzy rock single Rogers recorded for Mercury Records, called "Here's That Rainy Day", failed. Rogers also worked as a producer, writer and session musician for other performers, including country artists Mickey Gilley and Eddy Arnold. In 1966, he joined the New Christy Minstrels as a singer and double bass player. [5]

Feeling that the Minstrels were not offering the success they wanted, Rogers and fellow members Mike Settle, Terry Williams, and Thelma Camacho left the group. [5] They formed the First Edition in 1967 (later renamed "Kenny Rogers and the First Edition"). They were later joined by Kin Vassy. They chalked up a string of hits on both the pop and country charts, including "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)" (Rogers doing lead vocals and bass—and famously used in the dream sequence of the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski ), [5] "But You Know I Love You", "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town", "Tell It All, Brother", "Reuben James", and "Something's Burning". [5] [12]

When the First Edition disbanded in 1976, Rogers launched his solo career. [5] [14] He soon developed a more middle-of-the-road sound that sold to both pop and country audiences. He has charted more than 60 top 40 hit singles (including two number ones—"Lady" and "Islands in the Stream"). His music has also been featured in top-selling movie soundtracks, such as Convoy , Urban Cowboy , and The Big Lebowski . [15] [16]

Solo career and Duets with other Artists

After leaving the First Edition in 1976, after almost a decade with the group, Rogers signed a solo deal with United Artists. [5] Producer Larry Butler and Rogers began a partnership that would last four years. [17]

Rogers' first outing for his new label was Love Lifted Me . The album charted and two singles, "Love Lifted Me" and "While the Feeling's Good", were minor hits. [5] The song "Runaway Girl" was featured in the film Trackdown (1976). [18] Later in 1976, Rogers issued his second album, the self-titled Kenny Rogers, whose first single, "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)", was another solo hit. [19]

The single "Lucille" (1977) was a major hit, reaching number one on the pop charts in 12 countries, selling over five million copies, and firmly establishing Rogers' post-First Edition career. [20] On the strength of "Lucille", the album Kenny Rogers reached No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart. [21] More success was to follow, including the multi-platinum selling album The Gambler and another international Number 1 single, "Coward of the County", taken from the equally successful album, Kenny. [20] In 1980, the Rogers/Butler partnership came to an end, though they would occasionally reunite: in 1987 on the album I Prefer the Moonlight and again in 1993 on the album If Only My Heart Had a Voice. [5]

In the late 1970s, Rogers teamed up with close friend and Country Music legend Dottie West for a series of albums and duets. Together the duo won two gold records (one of which later went platinum), two CMA Awards, an ACM nomination, two Grammy nominations and 1 Music City News Award for their two hit albums Every Time Two Fools Collide (No. 1) and Classics (No. 3), selling out stadiums and arenas while on tour for several years, as well as appearing on several network television specials which showcased them. Their hits together "Every Time Two Fools Collide" (No. 1), "Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight" (No. 2), "What Are We Doin' in Love" (No. 1), "All I Ever Need Is You" (No. 1) and "Till I Can Make It On My Own" (No. 3) all became Country standards. Of West, Rogers stated in a 1995 TNN interview: "She, more than anybody else I ever worked with, sang with such emotion that you actually believed what she sang. A lot of people sing words, Dottie West sang emotions." In a 1978 press release for their album "Every Time Two Fools Collide", Rogers credited West with further establishing and cementing his career with Country Music audiences. In the same release, West credited him with taking her career to new audiences. Rogers was with West only hours before she died at age 58 after sustaining injuries in a 1991 car accident, as discussed in his 2012 biography "Luck Or Something Like It". In 1995 he starred as himself, alongside Michele Lee as West, in the CBS biographical film Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story .

In 1980, a selection he recorded as a duet with Kim Carnes, "Don't Fall in Love with a Dreamer", became a hit. [22] Earlier that year, he sang a duet of "You and Me" with Lynda Carter in her television music special Lynda Carter Special (Rogers originally recorded this with Dottie West for the Every Time Two Fools Collide album). Later in 1980 came his partnership with Lionel Richie who wrote and produced Rogers' No. 1 hit "Lady". [3] Richie went on to produce Rogers' 1981 album Share Your Love, a chart topper and commercial favorite featuring hits such as "I Don't Need You" (Pop No. 3), "Through the Years" (Pop No. 13), and "Share Your Love with Me" (Pop No. 14). His first Christmas album was also released that same year. In 1982, Rogers released the album Love Will Turn You Around. The album's the title track reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the country and AC charts. It was the theme song of Rogers' 1982 film Six Pack . Shortly afterwards, he started working with producer David Foster in 1983, recording the smash Top 10 hit Bob Seger cover "We've Got Tonight", a duet with Sheena Easton. Also a number 1 single on the Country charts in the United States, it reached the Top 30 on the British charts. [5]

In 1981, Rogers bought the old ABC Dunhill building and built one of the most popular and state-of-the-art recording studios in Los Angeles. The song "We Are the World" was recorded there and at A & M Records. [23]

Rogers went on to work with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees who produced his 1983 hit album Eyes That See in the Dark , featuring the title track and yet another No. 1 hit "Islands in the Stream", a duet with Dolly Parton. Gibb, along with his brothers, Robin and Maurice, originally wrote the song for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to change it for Rogers' album. [24] The partnership with Gibb only lasted one album, which was not surprising considering that Rogers' original intention was to work with Gibb on only one song. Gibb insisted on doing the entire album together. [5]

"Islands in the Stream", Rogers' duet with Dolly Parton, was the first single to be released from Eyes That See in the Dark in the United States, and it quickly went to No. 1 in the Billboard Hot 100 (it would prove to be the last country single to reach No. 1 on that chart until "Amazed" by Lonestar did so in 2000), as well as topping Billboard's country and adult contemporary singles charts; it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for shipping two million copies in the United States. Rogers would reunite with Parton in 1984 for a holiday album, Once Upon a Christmas and TV special Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember (which resulted in a popular video of "Christmas Without You"), as well as a 1985 duet "Real Love", which also topped the U.S. country singles chart. The two would continue to collaborate on occasional projects through subsequent years, including a 2013 duet single "You Can't Make Old Friends". [5]

Despite the success of "Islands in the Stream", however, RCA Records insisted on releasing Eyes' title track as the first UK single, and the song stalled at a disappointing No. 61 there, although it did stay in the top 100 for several weeks. (When it was eventually released in the United States, it was more successful, charting high on the Adult Contemporary chart and making the country top 30.) "Islands in the Stream" was issued as a follow-up single in Britain and sold well, making No. 7. The album itself reached No. 1 on the country charts on both sides of the Atlantic and enjoyed multi-million sales. "Buried Treasure", "This Woman" and "Evening Star"/"Midsummer Nights" were also all successful singles from the album.

Shortly after came the album What About Me? , a hit whose title track—a trio performance with James Ingram and Kim Carnes—was nominated for a Grammy Award; the single "Crazy" (not to be confused with the Willie Nelson-penned Patsy Cline hit) topped the country charts. David Foster was to work again with Rogers in his 1985 album The Heart of the Matter, although this time Foster was playing backing music rather than producing, a role given to George Martin. This album was another success, going to No. 1, with the title track making to the top ten category in the singles charts.

The next few years saw Rogers scoring several top country hits on a regular basis, including "Twenty Years Ago", "Morning Desire", "Tomb of the Unknown Love", among others. On January 28, 1985, Rogers was one of the 45 artists who recorded the worldwide charity song "We Are the World" to support hunger victims in Africa. The following year he played at Giants Stadium. [25]

In 1988, Rogers won a Grammy Award for "Best Country Collaboration with Vocals" with Ronnie Milsap—"Make No Mistake, She's Mine". In the 1990s, Rogers continued to chart with singles such as "The Factory" and "Crazy In Love", another selection that Kim Carnes provided him with, "If You Want To Find Love", and "The Greatest". His second Christmas album, titled Christmas in America, was released in 1989 for Reprise Records. From 1991 to 1994, Rogers hosted The Real West on A&E, and on The History Channel since 1995 (Reruns only on The History Channel). He visited Miller's during this time period. From 1992 to 1995, Rogers co-owned and headlined Branson, Missouri's 4,000 seat Grand Palace Theatre. In 1994, Rogers released his "dream" album titled Timepiece on Atlantic Records. It consisted of 1930s/1940s jazz standards, the type of music he had performed in his early days with the Bobby Doyle Three in Houston. [26]

In 1996, Rogers released an album Vote For Love where the public requested their favorite love songs and Rogers performed the songs. (Several of his own hits were in the final version.) The album was the first for the TV shopping channel QVC's record label, onQ Music. The album, sold exclusively by QVC, was a huge success and was later issued in stores under a variety of different titles. It reached No. 1 in the UK country charts under the title Love Songs (a title also used for various compilations) and also crossed over into the mainstream charts.

In 1999, Rogers scored with the single "The Greatest", a song about life from a child's point of view (looked at through a baseball game) [20] The song reached the top 40 of Billboard's Country singles chart and was a Country Music Television Number One video. It was on Rogers' album She Rides Wild Horses the following year (itself a top 10 success). [5] In 1999, Rogers also produced a song, "We've Got It All", specifically for the series finale of the ABC show Home Improvement. Not found on any album, the recording sells for a high sum at auction.[ citation needed ]

2000–2015

Rogers in 2004 WIKI KENNY ROGERS.jpg
Rogers in 2004

In the 21st century (and at age 61), Rogers was back at No. 1 for the first time in more than a decade with the 2000 single "Buy Me a Rose". [3] In doing so, he broke a 26-year-old record held by Hank Snow (who, in April 1974, was aged 59 when he scored with "Hello Love"). Rogers held the record until 2003, when then 70-year-old Willie Nelson became the oldest artist to have a No. 1 on the country charts with his duet with Toby Keith, "Beer for My Horses".

Although Rogers did not record new albums for a couple of years, he continued to have success in many countries with more greatest hits packages. In 2004 42 Ultimate Hits , which was the first hits collection to span his days with the First Edition to the present, reached Number 6 on the American country charts and went gold. It also featured two new songs, "My World Is Over" with Whitney Duncan and "We Are the Same". "My World Is Over" was released as a single and was a minor hit. In 2005 The Very Best of Kenny Rogers, a double album, sold well in Europe. It was the first new solo Rogers hits album to reach the United Kingdom for over a decade, despite many compilations there that were not true hits packages.

Rogers also signed with Capitol Records and had more success with the TV advertised release 21 Number Ones in January 2006. Although this CD did contain 21 chart-toppers as the title claims (recorded between 1976 and the present day), this was not a complete collection of Rogers' No. 1 singles, omitting such singles as "Crazy in Love" and "What About Me?"

Capitol followed 21 Number Ones with Rogers' new studio album, Water & Bridges , in March 2006 on the Capitol Nashville Records label. The first single from the album was "I Can't Unlove You", which peaked at No. 17 on the country charts, after spending over 6 months on the hit list, more than 50 years after he formed his first group and 38 years after his first major hit as leader of the First Edition; the song remains in recurrent airplay on some radio stations today. "I Can't Unlove You" was followed up with the second single from the album, "The Last Ten Years (Superman)", in September 2006. The third single, "Calling Me", which features Don Henley, became popular in early 2007, and was nominated for a Grammy Award at the 2007 Grammy Awards. Also in 2007, the 1977 Kenny Rogers album was re-issued as a double CD, also featuring the 1979 Kenny album and this once again put Rogers' name into the sales charts worldwide. The following year, another compilation album (A Love Song Collection) also charted. [5]

On August 26, 2008, Rogers released 50 Years [27] exclusively at Cracker Barrel stores. The album includes some of Rogers' greatest hits, plus 3 new songs. The release is designed to celebrate Rogers' 50th year in the music business. In 2007, the England national rugby union team adopted Rogers song "The Gambler" as their unofficial 2007 Rugby World Cup anthem, [28] after hearing prop Matt Stevens playing it in the team hotel. Before the semi-final against France and the final against South Africa, Rogers sent video messages of support to the team in light of them choosing his song. [29]

Rogers in 2012 at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia Kenny Rogers (7787973332).jpg
Rogers in 2012 at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia

In 2008, Rogers toured with his Christmas Show. He split the show up, making the first half his "best of" and the second half his Christmas songs. [30] In 2009, Rogers embarked on his 50th Anniversary Tour. The tour went around the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland.[ citation needed ]

On April 10, 2010, a TV special was taped, Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years. Dolly Parton and Lionel Richie were among those set to perform with Rogers during a show celebrating his contribution to country, blues and pop music. It took place at the MGM Grand in Foxwoods. The TV special was Executive Produced by Gabriel Gornell and Colleen Seldin and aired on GAC in North America and BBC worldwide.

On June 10, 2012, Rogers appeared on stage with the musical group Phish to perform his hit song "The Gambler" at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Also in 2012, Rogers re-recorded the hit song "Lady", a duet with its songwriter Lionel Richie, on Richie's album Tuskegee . The pair also performed the song live at the 2012 ACM concert, "Lionel Richie & Friends". [31]

On April 10, 2013, the CMA announced that Rogers would be a 2013 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Cowboy Jack Clement and Bobby Bare. [3] In June 2013, he performed at the Glastonbury Festival in England in the Sunday afternoon 'Legends' slot. [32]

In 2013, Rogers recorded a new album with the name You Can't Make Old Friends . This album included the title track, a new duet with Dolly Parton, which was his first single released in six years. [5]

Rogers recorded 65 albums and sold over 165 million records. [33] [34]

Retirement

In 2015, Rogers announced his farewell tour, titled The Gambler's Last Deal. He stated his intention to retire from touring at its completion, although he was considering the possibility of recording another studio album. [35] In announcing the tour, Rogers indicated at the time that his final tour appearance would be on NBC's Today show. [36] Concert dates were scheduled through 2018 and included visits to the United States, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, England, The Netherlands and Switzerland. [37] On April 5, 2018, it was announced that Rogers canceled his remaining tour as advised by doctors due to a series of health challenges. [38]

Rogers' final concert in Nashville took place on October 25, 2017, at the Bridgestone Arena where he was joined by an array of guest artists including Linda Davis, Elle King, Little Big Town, Lionel Richie, Billy Currington, Lee Greenwood, the Flaming Lips, the Oak Ridge Boys, Justin Moore, Travis Tritt, the Judds, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Chris Stapleton, Lady Antebellum, Idina Menzel, Crystal Gayle, Reba McEntire and Jamey Johnson. The concert also included a special appearance by long-time friend Dolly Parton, who performed "You Can't Make Old Friends" and "Islands in the Stream" with Rogers for the final time. [39] [40]

Bloodline

Although Rogers used many session musicians to play instruments on his recordings, he was backed on tours by the group Bloodline since 1976. The group originally started as a three-piece. [5] In The Journey (a 2006 documentary about his career) Rogers said he did not understand singers who changed their touring band every year, and that he sticks with Bloodline as they already "know the songs". Members of Bloodline have included Steve Glassmeyer, Chuck Jacobs, Randy Dorman, Gene Golden, Bobby Daniels, Rick Harper, Edgar Struble, Lynn Hammann, Warren Hartman, Gene Sisk, Brian Franklin, Mike Zimmerman and Amber Randall. [41]

Acting and other ventures

Rogers also had success as an actor. His 1982 movie Six Pack , in which he played a race-car driver, took in more than $20 million at the United States box office, while made-for-TV movies such as The Gambler series, Christmas in America, and Coward of the County (based on hit songs of his) topped ratings lists. He also served as host and narrator for the A&E historical series The Real West . [42] [43]

Rogers says that photography was once his obsession, before it morphed into a passion. He has authored the photo books Kenny Rogers' America (1986) and Your Friends and Mine (1987). [44]

As an entrepreneur, he collaborated with former Kentucky Fried Chicken CEO John Y. Brown Jr. in 1991 to start up the restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters. The chicken and ribs chain, which is similar to Boston Market, was famously featured in an episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld called "The Chicken Roaster". On the November 27, 1996, broadcast of Late Night with Conan O'Brien , Rogers could not pick his chicken out in a taste test, claiming he preferred "greasy burgers".[ citation needed ] Season four of the TV series Fresh Off the Boat depicts the chain as owning a share of Louis Huang's Cattleman's Ranch restaurant and then filing for bankruptcy. Rogers is shown from the back but played by Jeff Pomerantz in the episode "Let Me Go, Bro". [45]

Rogers and his restaurant were subjects of comedy from MADtv , especially the impersonation done by Will Sasso; the sketch of the faux-Rogers hosting Jackass became popular on the Internet.[ citation needed ]

Rogers put his name to the Gambler Chassis Co., a Sprint car racing manufacturer started by C. K. Spurlock in Hendersonville, Tennessee. The company used the name from Rogers' hit song The Gambler. During the 1980s and 1990s, Gambler was one of the fastest and widely used Sprintcars with such drivers as Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Doug Wolfgang driving the cars to victory in the World of Outlaws and the famous Knoxville Nationals. Gambler sprintcars were also successful in Australia with drivers such as Garry Rush and Steve Brazier using Gamblers to win multiple Australian Sprintcar Championships. Rush also used a Gambler chassis to win the UNOFFICIAL 1987 World Sprintcar Championship at the Claremont Speedway in Perth, Western Australia.

Rogers appeared in a 2004 episode of Reno 911! as himself being subjected to incompetent security provided by starstruck sheriff's deputies to comical effect.[ citation needed ]

In October 2012, Rogers released a book Luck or Something Like it: A Memoir about his ups and downs in his musical career. [46] With Mike Blakely, he has written a novel, What Are the Chances, that was released September 1, 2013.[ citation needed ]

In 2014, Rogers appeared as himself in a GEICO commercial, singing part of his song "The Gambler" a cappella while acting as the dealer in a card game. [47]

Personal life

At Beaver Dam Farms, a former estate in Colbert, Georgia, Rogers kept a pet goat named Smitty. [48] He originally acquired the animal from a friend in 2008. According to Rogers, the goat was "(his) center", providing a calming influence after long and stressful touring schedules. [49]

Marriages

Rogers was married five times and had five children. His first marriage was to Janice Gordon on May 15, 1958; they divorced in April 1960 with one child, Carole Lynne. [50] He married his second wife, Jean, in October 1960 and divorced her in 1963. His third marriage was to Margo Anderson in October 1964; they divorced in 1976 with one child. [51] He married his fourth wife Marianne Gordon on October 1, 1977, and they divorced in 1993 with one child. [51] His fifth marriage was to Wanda Miller on June 1, 1997. They had twin sons and were married for 22 years until his death. [52]

Death

On March 20, 2020, Rogers, at age 81, died from natural causes while under hospice care at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia. [53] [54]

Discography

Filmography

Film

YearTitleRoleDirectorNotesRef.
1982 Six Pack Brewster Baker Daniel Petrie [55]
2001 Longshot Pilot Lionel C. Martin [56]

Television

YearTitleRoleNotesRef.
1973Saga of SonoraBalladeer Made-for-TV film directed by Marty Pasetta
1975 The Dream Makers EarlMade-for-TV film directed by Boris Sagal [55]
1980 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler Brady HawkesMade-for-TV film directed by Dick Lowry [57] :280
1981 Coward of the County Uncle Matthew [55]
1983 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues Brady Hawkes [57] :280
1985 Wild Horses Matt Cooper [55]
1987 Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues Brady Hawkes [55]
1990Christmas in AmericaFrank MorganMade-for-TV film directed by Eric Till [55]
1991 The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw Brady HawkesMade-for-TV film directed by Dick Lowry [57] :280
1992 The Real West Host/narrator Television documentary [57] :280–1
1993Rio DiabloQuentin LeechMade-for-TV film directed by Rod Hardy [57] :280
1994 Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Daniel WatkinsEpisode: "Portraits" (S 1:EP 17) [57] :280
The Gambler V: Playing for Keeps Brady HawksMade-for-TV film directed by Jack Bender [57] :280
MacShayne: Winner Takes AllJohn J. 'Jack' MacShayneMade-for-TV film directed by E. W. Swackhamer [58]
MacShayne: The Final Roll of the DiceJohn J. 'Jack' MacShayne [59]
1995 Big Dreams and Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story HimselfMade-for-TV film directed by Bill D'Elia [55]
1996 Cybill Himself (Uncredited)Episode: "A Who's Who for What's His Name" (S 2:Ep 16)
1997 Get to the Heart: The Barbara Mandrell Story HimselfMade-for-TV film directed by Jerry London [60]
2000 Touched by an Angel Denny BlyeEpisode: "Buy Me a Rose" (S 6:Ep 14) [61]
2003 Reno 911! HimselfEpisode: "Security for Kenny Rogers" (S 2:EP 8)
2009 How I Met Your Mother Kindly Book Narrator (voice)Episode: "Duel Citizenship" (S 5:EP 5) [62]

Awards and honors

YearAwardCategory
2017 Texas Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee [63]
2013 Country Music Association Awards Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award [64]
2013 Country Music Hall of Fame Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame [65]
2010American Eagle AwardAmerican Eagle Award [66]
2009ACM HonorsCliffie Stone Pioneer Award [67] (w/ Jerry Reed, Randy Travis, Hank Williams Jr.)
2007ASCAP Golden Note AwardASCAP Golden Note Award [68]
2007CMT Music AwardsAlbum of the Year—Water & Bridges
2005CMT Music AwardsFavorite All Time Country Duet—"Islands In the Stream" (w/Dolly Parton)
2004CMT's 100 Greatest Cheating Songs"Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town"—No. 6
2003International Entertainment Buyers AssociationLifetime Achievement Award
2003CMT's 100 Greatest Country Songs"The Gambler"—No. 26 [69]
2002CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country MusicRanking—No. 19
2000TNN Music AwardsCareer Achievement Award
1999BBC's Greatest Country SingerRanking—No. 2
1988Grammy AwardsBest Duo Country Vocal Performance—"Make No Mistake She's Mine" (w/ Ronnie Milsap)
1986USA TodayFavorite Singer of All Time
1985American Music AwardsFavorite Country Album—Eyes That See in the Dark
1985American Music AwardsFavorite Male Country Artist
1983Academy of Country Music AwardsSingle of the Year—"Islands In the Stream" (w/ Dolly Parton)
1983Academy of Country Music AwardsTop Vocal Duet (w/ Dolly Parton)
1983American Music AwardsFavorite Pop/Rock Country Artist
1983American Music AwardsFavorite Country Single—"Love Will Turn You Around"
1983ASAP AwardsFavorite Single—"Islands In the Stream" (w/Dolly Parton)
1982American Music AwardsFavorite Country Album—Greatest Hits
1981American Music AwardsFavorite Pop/Rock Male Artist
1981American Music AwardsFavorite Country Album—The Gambler
1981American Music AwardsFavorite Country Single—"Coward of the County"
1980American Music AwardsFavorite Male Country Artist
1980American Music AwardsFavorite Country Album—The Gambler
1980Music City News CountrySingle of the Year
1979American Music AwardsFavorite Male Country Artist
1979American Music AwardsFavorite Country Album—10 Years of Gold
1979Country Music Association AwardsMale Vocalist of the Year [70]
1979Country Music Association AwardsVocal Duo of the Year (w/ Dottie West) [70]
1979Country Music Association AwardsAlbum of the Year—The Gambler [70]
1979Music City News CountryMale Artist of the Year
1979Music City News CountrySingle of the Year—"The Gambler"
1979Grammy AwardsBest Male Country Vocal Performance—"The Gambler" [71]
1978American Music AwardsFavorite Single—"Lucille"
1978Country Music Association AwardsVocal Duo of the Year (w/Dottie West) [72]
1978Academy of Country Music AwardsEntertainer of the Year
1978Academy of Country Music AwardsTop Male Vocalist
1977Country Music Association AwardsSingle of the Year—"Lucille" [71]
1977Academy of Country Music AwardsTop Male Vocalist
1977Academy of Country Music AwardsSingle of the Year—"Lucille"
1977Academy of Country Music AwardsSong of the Year—"Lucille"
1977Grammy AwardsBest Male Country Vocal Performance—"Lucille" [73]

Record labels

The following is a list of record labels to which Rogers signed:

See also

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Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Parton made her album debut in 1967 with Hello, I'm Dolly, which led to success during the remainder of the 1960s, before her sales and chart peak came during the 1970s and continued into the 1980s. Parton's albums in the 1990s did not sell as well, but she achieved commercial success again in the new millennium and has released albums on various independent labels since 2000, including her own label, Dolly Records. She has sold more than a hundred million records worldwide.

Islands in the Stream (song) Song by the Bee Gees

"Islands in the Stream" is a song written and later recorded by the Bee Gees. It was sung by American country music artists Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers's album Eyes That See in the Dark. Named after the Ernest Hemingway novel, it was originally written for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to be changed for the Kenny Rogers album.

Larry Butler was a country music producer/songwriter. From the mid-1970s through the 1980s, he worked with Kenny Rogers. Many of his albums with Rogers went either gold or platinum and accumulated many millions of sales around the world. These albums include Kenny Rogers (1976), The Gambler (1978), Gideon (1980) and I Prefer The Moonlight (1987). Rogers and Butler maintained a friendship outside of show business. Butler also produced Rogers' 1993 album If Only My Heart Had A Voice. He also participated in Rogers 2006 retrospective DVD The Journey.

But You Know I Love You

"But You Know I Love You" is a song written by Mike Settle, which was a 1969 pop hit for Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, a group that included Settle and Kenny Rogers. The song also became a major country hit by Bill Anderson in 1969. In 1981, a cover version of "But You Know I Love You" by singer Dolly Parton topped the country singles charts.

"Mary, Did You Know?" is a Christmas song addressing Mary, mother of Jesus, with lyrics written by Mark Lowry in 1984, and music written by Buddy Greene in 1991. It was originally recorded by Christian recording artist Michael English on his self-titled debut solo album in 1991. At the time, English and Lowry were members of the Gaither Vocal Band, and Greene was touring with them. The song reached Number 6 on CCM Magazine's Adult Contemporary Chart. Lowry would record the song several times himself, most notably with the Gaither Vocal Band on their 1998 Christmas album, Still the Greatest Story Ever Told.

The Gambler (song) 1978 single by Kenny Rogers

"The Gambler" is a song written by Don Schlitz and recorded by several artists, most famously by American country music singer Kenny Rogers.

<i>Greatest Hits</i> (Dolly Parton album) 1982 compilation album by Dolly Parton

Greatest Hits is a compilation album by Dolly Parton, released in September 1982. It focused mostly on Parton's late 1970s pop hits. The original track list was revised a year later to include Parton's 1983 duet hit with Kenny Rogers, "Islands in the Stream". The album has since been reissued with an abbreviated track listing. The 1983 version was re-released on iTunes April 10, 2020.

<i>Burlap & Satin</i> 1983 studio album by Dolly Parton

Burlap & Satin is the twenty-fifth solo studio album by Dolly Parton. It was released on May 2, 1983, by RCA Records. The album straddled the line between pop and country sounds. Consisting mostly of Parton's own compositions, two tracks were outtakes from the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas film: "A Cowboy's Ways" and "A Gamble Either Way". The album's single, "Potential New Boyfriend" was a top 20 country single and was accompanied by Parton's first ever music video. Willie Nelson duetted on a cover of the Eddy Arnold hit "I Really Don't Want to Know". The track "Ooo-eee" was recorded by Nicolette Larson on her 1980 album "Radioland" and features backing vocals from Linda Ronstadt.

<i>Real Love</i> (Dolly Parton album) 1985 studio album by Dolly Parton

Real Love is the twenty-seventh solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. It was released on January 21, 1985, by RCA Records. The album was produced by David Malloy, and would be Parton's last studio album for RCA Records. It includes two number one country singles, "Real Love" and "Think About Love". The album's other singles, "Don't Call It Love" and "Tie Our Love ", peaked at number three and number 17, respectively.

<i>Once Upon a Christmas</i> (Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton album) 1984 studio album by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Once Upon a Christmas is a collaborative studio album by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. It was released on October 29, 1984, by RCA Records. The album was produced by Rogers with David Foster. It it Rogers' second Christmas album, following 1981's Christmas, and Parton's first. The album's release was accompanied by a CBS television special, Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember. The album was certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA in 1989.

<i>Something Special</i> (Dolly Parton album) 1995 studio album by Dolly Parton

Something Special is the thirty-third solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. It was released on August 22, 1995, by Columbia Records and Blue Eyes records. In addition to seven new Parton compositions, the album includes updated versions of three classics from Parton's repertoire: "Jolene", "The Seeker", and "I Will Always Love You", the latter of which was performed as a duet with Vince Gill. The Gill duet, Parton's third recording of the song, reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart, becoming Parton's highest charting single in four years. Additionally, it was named "Vocal Event of the Year" by the Country Music Association.

Real Love (Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers song) 1985 single by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

"Real Love" is a song written by David Malloy, Richard "Spady" Brannon and Randy McCormick, and recorded as a duet by American entertainers Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers that topped the U.S. country singles charts in August 1985. It was released in April 1985 the second single and title track from Parton's Real Love album. Released after the top-ten success of "Don't Call It Love", the song became Parton and Rogers' second country chart-topper as a duet act. However, "Real Love" did not fare as well on the pop singles charts as 1983's "Islands in the Stream" had done, stalling at number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 13 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

<i>Eyes That See in the Dark</i> 1983 studio album by Kenny Rogers

Eyes That See in the Dark is the 15th studio album by Kenny Rogers, first released by RCA Records in August 1983.

Lady (Kenny Rogers song) 1980 single by Kenny Rogers

"Lady" is a song written by Lionel Richie and first recorded by American country music artist Kenny Rogers. It was released in September 1980 on the album Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits.

Kenny Rogers discography Cataloging of published recordings by Kenny Rogers

The discography of Kenny Rogers, an American country music singer, consists of 39 studio albums and 80 singles, 21 of which have reached Number One on the country chart. His longest-lasting Number Ones on that chart are "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County", at three weeks each. Two of his Number One country hits, "Lady" and "Islands in the Stream", a duet with Dolly Parton, also reached Number One on the Billboard Hot 100; "Lady" spent six weeks at the top, making it his longest running Number One single on any Billboard chart. More than just a US phenomenon, he found an audience around the world with two of his biggest songs, "Lucille" and "Coward of the County", both reaching Number One on the general sales chart in the UK. His albums The Gambler and Kenny each topped the country chart for at least 20 weeks, while his Greatest Hits was the only album by a solo country performer to top the Billboard 200 during the 1980s, reaching the summit in late 1980.

Hargus Melvin "Pig" Robbins is an American session keyboard player. Having played on records for many artists, including John Stewart, Dolly Parton, Connie Smith, Patti Page, Loretta Lynn, Kenny Rogers, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, John Hartford, Mark Knopfler, Ween, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Roger Miller, David Allan Coe, Moe Bandy, George Hamilton IV, Sturgill Simpson, and Conway Twitty, he played on Roger Miller's Grammy Award-winning "Dang Me" in 1964. He is blind, having lost his sight at age four due to an accident involving his father's knife.

Dolly Parton singles discography

The singles discography of American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton includes over 200 singles and spans seven decades. Parton has released 180 singles as a lead artist, 42 as a featured artist and four promotional singles. Parton has also had two charted B-sides and has released 68 music videos. Parton also released 21 singles with Porter Wagoner from 1968 to 1980, bringing her total number of singles to 243.

<i>Blue Smoke</i> (album) 2014 studio album by Dolly Parton

Blue Smoke is the forty-fourth solo studio album by American country entertainer Dolly Parton. The album was released in Australia and New Zealand on January 31, 2014, in North America on May 13, 2014, in Ireland on June 6, 2014, and in Europe on June 9, 2014.

<i>A Holly Dolly Christmas</i> 2020 studio album by Dolly Parton

A Holly Dolly Christmas is the forty-seventh solo studio album by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. It was released on October 2, 2020, by Parton's Butterfly Records in partnership with 12-Tone Music Group. The album was produced by Kent Wells, with Parton serving as executive producer. It is Parton's third Christmas album, following 1984's Once Upon a Christmas with Kenny Rogers and 1990's Home for Christmas. The album features guest appearances by Michael Bublé, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson, and Parton's brother Randy. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, becoming Parton's eighth album to top the chart. The album also peaked at number one on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart and number 16 on the Billboard 200.

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