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Country Music Icon Kenny Rogers Dies at 81
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Tim J.
2020-03-21 07:05:09 UTC
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https://variety.com/2020/music/obituaries-people-news/kenny-rogers-dead-dies-1203541233/

Vocalist Kenny Rogers, who dominated the pop and country charts in the
1970s and 1980s with a string of sleekly tailored hits and won three
Grammys, has died. He was 81. Rogers "passed away peacefully at home
from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his
family," a representative for the singer said in a statement. Due to
the national COVID-19 emergency, the family is planning a small
private service at this time with a public memorial planned for a
later date.

Rogers had announced a farewell tour in 2015 and was able to keep it
going through December 2017. In April 2018, shortly before he was to
spend a few months finishing out the tour after a break, he announced
that he was having to call off the remaining dates (including a
planned appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in California), due to
unspecified "health challenges." "I didn’t want to take forever to
retire," Rogers said his April 2018 statement. "I’ve thoroughly
enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course
of the past two years on ‘The Gambler’s Last Deal’ tour. I could never
properly thank them for the encouragement and support they’ve given me
throughout my career and the happiness I’ve experienced as a result of
that."

A special, "Biography: Kenny Rogers," had been announced by A&E
earlier this month, set to air April 13. The special is said to be
largely built around footage from the all-star salute Rogers received
in Nashville on Oct. 25, 2017, just a couple of months before his
final concert appearances. Among the guests who joined him for that
sentimental sendoff at the Bridgestone Arena were Dolly Parton, Lionel
Richie, Don Henley, Kris Kristofferson, Alison Krauss, Chris
Stapleton, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, the Flaming Lips and the
Judds.

Rogers’ signature song "The Gambler" was added to the National
Registry in 1978. It was the most recent of a lifetime of honors
bestowed on the singer, which included induction into the Country
Music Hall of Fame, three Grammys and six CMA Awards.

After establishing himself commercially via rock- and pop-oriented
singles with his group the First Edition, the bearded, prematurely
gray Rogers was launched into the top rank of crossover country
artists with a string of singles for United Artists Records.

His appealing, sometimes gritty voice propelled 20 solo 45s to No. 1
on the country charts from 1977-87. Two of them, his 1980 reading of
Lionel Richie’s "Lady" and his 1983 collaboration with Dolly Parton
"Islands in the Stream" (penned by the Bee Gees), also topped the pop
lists. He worked profitably with a number of other female vocalists,
including Dottie West, Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes and Anne Murray.

Country historian Bill C. Malone noted that Rogers’ ingratiating style
"has been the chief source of his immense success. Rogers is a
consummate story-teller, with an intimate and compelling style that
almost demands the listener’s concentration. When his husky tenor
voice slips down into a raspy, gravelly register, as it sometimes
does, Rogers pulls the listener even further into his confidence."

Rogers parlayed his music success into a successful side career as an
actor. His 1978 country chart-topper "The Gambler" spawned five
popular TV movies, while some of his other hits also inspired
small-screen features.

Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013 and
received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Country Music
Association the same year.

Born and raised in Houston, he was the fourth of eight children in a
poor family. He took to the guitar as an adolescent, and would
sometimes perform with another aspiring local musician and future
star, Mickey Gilley.

His early professional career was stylistically eclectic. While in
high school, he formed a rockabilly group, the Scholars, who recorded
for Carlton Records, a local label. After a brief stint at the
University of Houston, he played bass with the jazz groups of Bobby
Doyle and Kirby Stone.

After moving to Los Angeles in 1966, he joined the folk-pop unit the
New Christy Minstrels, a group that also numbered such performers as
Carnes, the Byrds’ Gene Clark, "Eve of Destruction" vocalist Barry
McGuire and the Lovin’ Spoonful’s Jerry Yester among its members at
one time or another.

With fellow Minstrels Mike Settle, Terry Williams and Thelma Camacho,
Rogers founded the rock-leaning group the First Edition in 1967.
Fronted by Rogers (whose name would be appended to the act’s moniker
in 1969), the group notched two top 10 pop hits: "Just Dropped In (To
See What Condition My Condition Was In)" (No. 5, 1968), a version of
Mickey Newbury’s slice of pop psychedelia, and "Ruby, Don’t Take Your
Love to Town" (No. 6, 1969), Mel Tillis’ downbeat song about the
faithless wife of a handicapped Vietnam vet.

The First Edition’s fortunes began to wane in the early ’70s, and
Rogers signed a solo deal with UA in 1976. He struck almost immediate
pay dirt with "Lucille," an absorbing vignette about a barroom
encounter with a disillusioned woman and her estranged husband. The
number became Rogers’ first No. 1 country hit and reached No. 5 on the
national pop chart. It also scored Rogers his first Grammy, for best
male country vocal performance.

Rogers also partnered with longtime female star West, and the duo
racked up three No. 1 country singles for UA and then Liberty in
1978-81: "Every Time Two Fools Collide," "All I Ever Need Is You" and
"What Are We Doin’ in Love."

He notched five more No. 1 solo country singles by the end of the
decade. The biggest of these were the Grammy-winning "The Gambler"
(also No. 16 pop in 1978) and the backwoods narrative "Coward of the
County" (also No. 3 pop in 1979). They pushed the albums "The Gambler"
and "Kenny" to No. 12 and No. 5, respectively, on the pop album
charts. Each inspired a popular TV movie; Rogers would portray Brady
Hawkes, protagonist of "The Gambler," in a series of telepics that ran
through 1994.

On the heels of a No. 1 greatest hits set in 1980, Rogers’ hits of the
decade for Liberty and RCA found him moving increasingly into pop
terrain and focusing on romantic balladry. "Lady" and "Islands in the
Stream" (the latter one of many duets with frequent partner Parton)
solidified his standing as country’s biggest crossover attraction; his
rendering of Bob Seger’s "We’ve Got Tonight" with Sheena Easton ruled
the country chart and rose to No. 6 on the pop chart. In all, he
recorded 23 top 10 country hits during the decade, five of which
crossed to the pop side.

Though it failed to even dent the pop charts, "Make No Mistake, She’s
Mine," Rogers’ duet with singer-pianist Ronnie Milsap (and a remake of
a duet by former bandmate Kim Carnes and Barbra Streisand) became
Rogers’ next-to-last No. 1 country single in 1987. It also reaped a
Grammy for best country vocal duet performance.

Like many another star of his era, Rogers began to fall out of fashion
in the ’90s, as a younger generation of country musicians flexing a
less countrypolitan style supplanted him. He made his last toplining
appearance in a pair of telepics as reformed gambler Jack MacShayne in
1994. In 1999, he notched a final No. 1 country hit, "Buy Me a Rose,"
with Billy Dean and Alison Krauss.

In the new millennium, sporadic releases on a number of independent
labels and majors Capitol Nashville and Warner Bros. Nashville
performed respectably on the country album charts but produced no
major hits.

From the ’90s forward, as he maintained a busy touring schedule,
Rogers increasingly turned his attention to various entrepreneurial
enterprises, opening a chain of fast-food chicken outlets, Kenny
Rogers Roasters, and a Sprint car manufacturing firm, Gamblers
Chassis.

He issued a memoir, "Luck or Something Like It," in 2012, and a novel,
"What Are the Chances," in 2013. That same year, he was the recipient
of the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award. He received a
similar honor from CMT with its Artist of a Lifetime Award in 2015.

Always active on the road, Rogers announced his retirement in
September 2015, not long after a widely aired commercial for Geico
insurance saw him reprising "The Gambler" for comedic effect.

At the Oct. 25, 2017 tribute concert in Nashville, Rogers joined in
jocular exchanges with some of the homage-payers, notably Parton, who
quipped, "I want to see what condition your condition’s really in."
They reprised their recorded duets of "You Can’t Make Old Friends" and
"Islands In the Stream," and Parton additionally sang him her own
signature song, "I Will Always Love You."

"I hope my fans understand that I’m a father first and a singer
second," Rogers said at that time about retiring from touring, in an
interview with CMT.com. "As it turns out, I’m missing some very great
parts of my boys’ lives. I know as well as anybody else how that time
gets away from you. And I don’t want to miss it. I just worry about
how much longer I’m going to be here, and I want to have time to spend
with them. It’s pretty simple."

Married five times, Rogers is survived by his last wife Wanda and five
children.
That Derek
2020-03-21 09:05:55 UTC
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"Ya gotta know when to fold 'em."

As corny and self-parodying he became, Kenny Rogers' talent was indisputable. Peace.
Congoleum Breckenridge
2020-03-21 15:46:11 UTC
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Post by Tim J.
https://variety.com/2020/music/obituaries-people-news/kenny-rogers-dead-dies-1203541233/
81, but with a face of a 50 year old.
d***@gmail.com
2020-03-21 16:20:56 UTC
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Great talent. R. I. P.
Hank M
2020-03-21 21:52:17 UTC
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From the ’90s forward, as he maintained a busy touring schedule,
Rogers increasingly turned his attention to various entrepreneurial
enterprises, opening a chain of fast-food chicken outlets, Kenny
Rogers Roasters, and a Sprint car manufacturing firm, Gamblers
Chassis.
I liked his music, but I really liked his chicken! It was better than any other place. Too bad it's not around any more.
Bryan Styble
2020-03-22 06:50:41 UTC
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Never tried a Rogers's Roasters, and in fact can barely remember even reading about the chain.

Two questions: (1) was it a national chain, or only regional, and if so, which regions?; and (2) what was superior about the chicken (which I gather from the name wasn't fried but rather only roasted)?

Thanks in advance y'all, and may we all stay uncontaminated in the days ahead.

BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
Matthew Kruk
2020-03-22 06:57:50 UTC
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National. Great chicken and mashed potatoes to die for. Too bad it folded.
Post by Bryan Styble
Never tried a Rogers's Roasters, and in fact can barely remember even reading
about the chain.
Two questions: (1) was it a national chain, or only regional, and if so,
which regions?; and (2) what was superior about the chicken (which I gather
from the name wasn't fried but rather only roasted)?
Thanks in advance y'all, and may we all stay uncontaminated in the days ahead.
BRYAN STYBLE/Florida
Matthew Kruk
2020-03-22 07:02:41 UTC
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Post by Matthew Kruk
National. Great chicken and mashed potatoes to die for. Too bad it folded.
The chicken was juicy and not dried out - white meat as moist as the dark, just
fabulous, right amount of seasoning, etc. Nothing like it out there right now.
My Aunt took me when I visited her in Florida. Great memory that I will cherish
for a long time.
RH Draney
2020-03-22 09:13:20 UTC
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Post by Matthew Kruk
Post by Matthew Kruk
National. Great chicken and mashed potatoes to die for. Too bad it folded.
The chicken was juicy and not dried out - white meat as moist as the dark, just
fabulous, right amount of seasoning, etc. Nothing like it out there right now.
My Aunt took me when I visited her in Florida. Great memory that I will cherish
for a long time.
Rotisserie style, it was...there used to be one near here which was
where I was first asked to do my impression of Elwood Blues (I wore a
black fedora in those days, and dark sunglasses at the appropriate time
of day)....r
A Friend
2020-03-22 11:12:52 UTC
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Post by Matthew Kruk
Post by Matthew Kruk
National. Great chicken and mashed potatoes to die for. Too bad it folded.
The chicken was juicy and not dried out - white meat as moist as the
dark, just fabulous, right amount of seasoning, etc. Nothing like it
out there right now. My Aunt took me when I visited her in Florida.
Great memory that I will cherish for a long time.
It was the only takeout chicken I ever ate. Good biscuits, too. I
still miss Roasters, and I wonder how they managed to fail.
David Carson
2020-03-22 21:37:44 UTC
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Post by Matthew Kruk
National. Great chicken and mashed potatoes to die for. Too bad it folded.
Post by Bryan Styble
Never tried a Rogers's Roasters, and in fact can barely remember even reading
about the chain.
Two questions: (1) was it a national chain, or only regional, and if so,
which regions?; and (2) what was superior about the chicken (which I gather
from the name wasn't fried but rather only roasted)?
I never heard of it until the Seinfeld episode, and never heard of it
after that until now.
e***@gmail.com
2020-03-22 23:47:55 UTC
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Survived by 400 children (and a crop in the field)
danny burstein
2020-03-23 00:01:47 UTC
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Post by e***@gmail.com
Survived by 400 children (and a crop in the field)
That's 290 more than Jimmy Dean's Big Bad John had
in gradchildren...

https://www.metrolyrics.com/the-cajun-queen-lyrics-jimmy-dean.html
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
***@panix.com
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Louis Epstein
2020-03-22 19:52:49 UTC
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Post by Hank M
From the ?90s forward, as he maintained a busy touring schedule,
Rogers increasingly turned his attention to various entrepreneurial
enterprises, opening a chain of fast-food chicken outlets, Kenny
Rogers Roasters, and a Sprint car manufacturing firm, Gamblers
Chassis.
I liked his music, but I really liked his chicken! It was better than any
other place. Too bad it's not around any more.
According to the Wikipedes (who have edit-warred over whether "Lady" or
"Just Dropped In" deserves to be among the 3 songs they allow to be
mentioned on his "Deaths in 2020" entry) the Kenny Rogers Roasters
chain is now only doing business in Asian countries but is not
completely extinct.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
David Carson
2020-03-23 00:54:19 UTC
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Post by Louis Epstein
According to the Wikipedes (who have edit-warred over whether "Lady" or
"Just Dropped In" deserves to be among the 3 songs they allow to be
mentioned on his "Deaths in 2020" entry)
Right now, it has "The Gambler," "Just Dropped In," and "Islands in the
Stream."

My three would be Lucille, She Believes In Me, and Lady. I would not
object to ONE of the last two to be replaced by either Islands in the
Stream or The Gambler. I consider Lucille to be non-negotiable.

David Carson
--
Dead or Alive Data Base
http://www.doadb.com
Louis Epstein
2020-03-23 01:38:18 UTC
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Post by David Carson
Post by Louis Epstein
According to the Wikipedes (who have edit-warred over whether "Lady" or
"Just Dropped In" deserves to be among the 3 songs they allow to be
mentioned on his "Deaths in 2020" entry)
Right now, it has "The Gambler," "Just Dropped In," and "Islands in the
Stream."
My three would be Lucille, She Believes In Me, and Lady. I would not
object to ONE of the last two to be replaced by either Islands in the
Stream or The Gambler. I consider Lucille to be non-negotiable.
"The Gambler" was added first,by Folengo.
"Coward of the County" was added by Ghmyrtle,
who then added "Islands in the Stream" to substitute for an acting credit.
"Just Dropped In" was then substituted for "Coward of the County"
by RustedAutoParts.
"Just Dropped In" was deleted by Liz,with note "I think 2 songs are sufficient
(and probably 1 is enough)",then reinstated by Folengo,with note "we have the
three limit,so it's all right".
"Lady" was then added by BravesFan2006,with note "added Kenny Rogers' biggest pop
hit "Lady" which spent 6 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in 1980".
"Just Dropped In" was then deleted by CAWylie with note "Rogers Ro3".
Thirteen minutes later,RustedAutoParts substituted "Just Dropped In"
for "Lady",and that's where it sits.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Louis Epstein
2020-03-24 05:34:01 UTC
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Post by Louis Epstein
Post by David Carson
Post by Louis Epstein
According to the Wikipedes (who have edit-warred over whether "Lady" or
"Just Dropped In" deserves to be among the 3 songs they allow to be
mentioned on his "Deaths in 2020" entry)
Right now, it has "The Gambler," "Just Dropped In," and "Islands in the
Stream."
My three would be Lucille, She Believes In Me, and Lady. I would not
object to ONE of the last two to be replaced by either Islands in the
Stream or The Gambler. I consider Lucille to be non-negotiable.
"The Gambler" was added first,by Folengo.
"Coward of the County" was added by Ghmyrtle,
who then added "Islands in the Stream" to substitute for an acting credit.
"Just Dropped In" was then substituted for "Coward of the County"
by RustedAutoParts.
"Just Dropped In" was deleted by Liz,with note "I think 2 songs are sufficient
(and probably 1 is enough)",then reinstated by Folengo,with note "we have the
three limit,so it's all right".
"Lady" was then added by BravesFan2006,with note "added Kenny Rogers' biggest pop
hit "Lady" which spent 6 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in 1980".
"Just Dropped In" was then deleted by CAWylie with note "Rogers Ro3".
Thirteen minutes later,RustedAutoParts substituted "Just Dropped In"
for "Lady",and that's where it sits.
(And two other people discussed this on the talk page).
Post by Louis Epstein
-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
That Derek
2020-03-22 12:34:17 UTC
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Sometime in the early-to-mid-1990s, a Kenny Rogers Roasters franchise opened in central Greenwich Village at Sixth Avenue and, either West 12th or West 13th Street. I ate there once and remember it more as a sit-down, rather than a take-out, restaurant - more akin to Boston Market than KFC or Popeye's.

However, neighbours in apartments directly across the street were offended by the bright neon emanating from the KRR to the point where they put up signs trashing the product in their windows. This contretemps was covered in the NYC tabloids like the Post and Daily News and ended up being the inspiration for the "Seinfeld" episode.

This Kenny Rogers franchise didn't last long. At the time, country music was quite outré in NYC and, as I predicted, it was gone within a year (two, tops).

Roasters just never was a NYC-area phenomenon. A few years later, I encountered one in the Food Court at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne NJ. I ordered a two-piece chicken meal and, by this point, it was serving fried chicken, rather than its signature grilled style.
Rick B.
2020-03-22 18:29:32 UTC
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Post by That Derek
Roasters just never was a NYC-area phenomenon. A few years later, I
encountered one in the Food Court at Willowbrook Mall in Wayne NJ. I
ordered a two-piece chicken meal and, by this point, it was serving
fried chicken, rather than its signature grilled style.
In South Jersey they had a store in an outbuilding on the Cherry Hill Mall
property. It closed abruptly and the operators left without arranging for a
final garbage pickup...which left everyone in the neighborhood who had a
functioning nose quite aware that they had closed.
Hank M
2020-03-23 15:18:26 UTC
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Post by Rick B.
In South Jersey they had a store in an outbuilding on the Cherry Hill Mall
property. It closed abruptly and the operators left without arranging for a
final garbage pickup...which left everyone in the neighborhood who had a
functioning nose quite aware that they had closed.
The Cherry Hill store was the only one I visited. As others have noted, the chicken was tasty and moist--better than any other fast food place. I was sad when they closed (but unaware of the circumstances cited by Rick B).
Topic Cop
2020-03-23 05:35:06 UTC
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Exiting the stage after his last show


Louis Epstein
2020-03-26 02:54:33 UTC
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Post by Tim J.
https://variety.com/2020/music/obituaries-people-news/kenny-rogers-dead-dies-1203541233/
Vocalist Kenny Rogers, who dominated the pop and country charts in the
1970s and 1980s with a string of sleekly tailored hits and won three
Grammys, has died. He was 81. Rogers "passed away peacefully at home
from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his
family," a representative for the singer said in a statement. Due to
the national COVID-19 emergency, the family is planning a small
private service at this time with a public memorial planned for a
later date.
Rogers had announced a farewell tour in 2015 and was able to keep it
going through December 2017. In April 2018, shortly before he was to
spend a few months finishing out the tour after a break, he announced
that he was having to call off the remaining dates (including a
planned appearance at the Stagecoach Festival in California), due to
unspecified "health challenges." "I didn?t want to take forever to
retire," Rogers said his April 2018 statement. "I?ve thoroughly
enjoyed this opportunity to say farewell to the fans over the course
of the past two years on ?The Gambler?s Last Deal? tour. I could never
properly thank them for the encouragement and support they?ve given me
throughout my career and the happiness I?ve experienced as a result of
that."
Did he take his secrets of when to hold 'em,when to fold 'em,
when to walk away,and when to run to his grave?

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.

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