Kenny Rogers Death is a major blow for Classic music

The death of Kenny Rogers has stolen from us a talent that will be dearly missed by millions across the world. If the world was one big stage and millions of adoring fans had their way, they would scream to the husky-voiced musician with his silvery sideburns not to slam the door on their faces or take his love out of town.

On Friday, Kenny Rogers drifted away like a gambler in the train to nowhere, the deathly silence of the night he faded off to eternal sleep surrounded by his family, knowing well that he had dealt the right hand and now expected to rest in peace.

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Living true to the his prophetic gems of wisdom which populated most his hit songs, Rogers seems to have known when to quit the stage and concentrate on his family in his sunset days.

But the most poignant message is derived from his all-time favorite, Lady, a song which had been written by Lionel Richie but was rejected by his group the Commodores in 1980.

When Rogers heard about this rejection, he wondered why anybody would reject a song titled Lady. The words too are a reflection of the turmoil he had faced in his love life.

“Lady, for so many years I thought I’d never find you. You have come into my life and, made me whole. Forever let me wake to see you each and every morning.

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Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear. In my eyes I see no one else but you. There’s no other love like our love. Oh yes, girl I’ll always…”

Kenny Rogers short Biography

And indeed, when Rogers got hitched to Wanda Miller his fifth wife in June 1, 1997, he faced a lot of opposition from his father-in-law because he was only two years older than his in-laws.

He however triumphed and lived up to the prediction of Lady when he cooed,” Forever let me wake to see you each and every morning, Let me hear you whisper softly in my ear” up to his dying day.

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Roger’s first wife was Jannie Gordon who he married in 1958, and divorced her two years later before landing in the arms of Jean Laverne Massey the same year, a marriage that lasted 36 months.

He married Margo Gladys Anderson in 1963 but the flame of their love was as fleeting as the Texan winds ultimately swirling away in 1975, culminating in a divorce.

Two years later Marianne Gordon, captured the 5’ 10½ feet tall icon to claim the tiara as the new Mrs Rogers but she too exited the stage in 1994 as dramatically as she had come. In total, Rogers has five children from his five wives.

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Patron

There have been whispers and celebrity gossip about Rogers and another song star Dolly Parton, partly fueled by the chemistry produced by their joint stage appearances when performing the songs they had recorded together.

Their coming together was by mistake.

For four days, Rogers had been singing Islands in the Stream which had been written by Barry Gibb of the famous Bee Gees for Marvin Gaye. Rogers had told The People Magazine in an earlier interview:

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“And we had been singing this song in my studio in LA for four days. And I finally said, ‘Barry, I don’t even like this song anymore. “And he said, ‘We need Dolly Parton.’

“I said, ‘Well, why not, you know?” And Ken Kragen, my manager said, ‘I saw her downstairs.’ I said, “Well, go get her.”

During his last performance in 2017 in Nashville where he paired with Dolly, to sing “Islands in The Stream” he explained that they never dated although they flirted a lot.

While Rogers claimed that the songstress had rejected him once, Dolly joked that they were like brother and sister and having an intimate affair would be like incest.

Kenny Rogers and Business

In another interview with BBC 2017, he explained what inspired his gamble for venturing into country music:

“You can do what everybody else is doing and do it better – and I didn’t like my chances – or you could do something nobody else is doing, and you don’t invite comparison.”

According to the BBC report, Rogers launched chicken restaurant chain Kenny Rogers Roasters (KRR) in 1991 which flourished for sometime before it spectacularly failed and filed for bankruptcy.

In five years, the food chain had more than 400 restaurants in US, Canada, the Middle East, and Asia, but went under in 1998. At the time it only had a presence in Malaysian.

Despite creating an empire worth $250 million and a big house boasting an 18-hole golf course that had hundreds of automated water sprinklers Rogers had also been through rough patches.

The icon’s passing may have been overshadowed by the corona but his rustic, sometimes husky voice will continue dominating the airwaves for decades to come while his lyrics will forever drive lovers of country music for he was a “god” who used his voice and box guitar to mesmerize his worshipers, holding them captive.


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