A remarkable story of a boy who couldn't stop singing, and a man who knew how to hold 'em
For more than half a century, Kenny Rogers has been recording some of the most revered and beloved music in America and around the world. In that time, he has become a living legend by combining everything from R&B to country and gospel to folk in his unique voice to create a sound that's both wholly original and instantly recognizable.
Now, in his first-ever memoir, Kenny details his lifelong journey to becoming one of American music's elder statesmen--a rare talent who's created hit records for decades while staying true to his values as a performer and a person. Exploring the struggles of his long road, his story begins simply: growing up in Depression-era Texas, living in the projects, surviving in poverty, and listening to his mother, who always had just the right piece of wisdom.
Recounting his early years, first as a jazz bassist and later as a member of the pioneering folk group the New Christy Minstrels, Kenny charts how he came into his own as an artist with the First Edition, only to have the band's breakup in the 1970s raise questions about his musical future. Yet, as Kenny explains, it was precisely this soul-searching that led him to a new direction on his own in Nashville. Telling the stories that have become legends in a town that's seen many of them, he recalls the making of his career in country music and his most memorable songs, including "Lucille," "The Gambler," "Lady," and "Islands in the Stream." Along the way, he shares the friendships, both big and small, that have meant the most to him, describing the good times he's had with Dottie West, Lionel Richie, and, of course, Dolly Parton, and how through it all he continues to make music with the passion that has defined him from the start.
Staring across the decades, Kenny writes a story seemingly straight from one of his songs. The end result is a rollicking ride through fifty years of music history, which offers a heartwarming testament to a time when country music wasn't just a brand but a way of life.
“Rogers is an exquisite storyteller, able to get across a range of ideas and emotions in songs like ‘Lucille’ and ‘The Gambler.’ That breezy, conversational tone comes across on the page.”
“In his aw-shucks, sit-down-and-listen-for-a-spell memoir.... he reminisces in never-before-told stories…Rogers gracefully recalls the ups and downs on his wild ride to fame.”