Kenny Rogers: "Music Is the Great Memory-Maker of All Time"


In the 50's when you began recording music, did you have an ultimate career goal in mind? And in your opinion, looking back, have you reached it today?

My goal was to meet girls -- that's why I got into music. [laughs] And I've been married five times now, so yes, I think I've done everything I set out to do. I can laugh about it now, because Wanda [Miller] and I have been together twenty-one years and married sixteen and a half years. I have a great life.

I don't think most people get into the music business to make money, because the odds against it are astronomical. They get into it because of the love of music, and they want to make music. Money has never been a driving force for me. It's been a great by-product, but it's not what I set out to do.

Someone asked me the other day what I would tell kids coming up who are successful. I'd say, "Pay your taxes on time, and put twenty percent away." Everything else is incidental to that. You tend to live in the moment, and I think it's because everybody has something to prove to either themselves or the audience. Some of the young talent won't have a dime when they're fifty years old, because they go through it with total disregard for when it ends. And the problem is, it will end-- that's the nature of the business.

What can the audience here in Phoenix expect from your live performance?

I'm an entertainer, I think more than a singer. It's not important to me that one person leave that audience saying, "He's the best singer I've ever heard." But it's important to me that everybody in that building leave saying, "I enjoyed that." So, that's my goal when I walk off stage-- to have a good time and have the people enjoy it with me.

I will do about twenty-five hits, and occasionally I'll throw in some songs from the new album, because I have some really good stuff on there. I've been asked if I get tired of doing all my old hits and I said that if I had new ones I might, but since I don't have new ones I'll do my old ones. I think that's what people come to hear.

I went to see Ray Charles one time, he's a friend of mine, and he didn't do "Georgia on My Mind", and I got angry. I said, "Wait a minute, I paid a lot of money for these tickets." People don't just come because they like my smile, it's because they like the music I've done and that's what they want to hear. Music is the great memory-maker of all time.

For example, when I was a kid, "Earth Angel" was a big song. I still remember where I was the day I heard that song. I don't want to hear anybody do it but the original group. I think that's what people come for.

With all the changes in the music industry that you were talking about earlier, do you think it's for better or worse?

Change is always for the better. I've always said that country music is what country people will buy. So, when it ceases to be country, they'll quit buying it. Sooner or later it will go back to what it was before. Some guy is going to come along with that wonderful deep, rich Hank Williams voice, and do something where people say, "I'm so sick of what is out there, I want to hear more of this." That's what music does.

I know there are a lot of people anxious for your show here in Phoenix. It seems like your music reaches a diverse age group of fans after all these years.
Well, I'm convinced that my audience falls into one of two categories; born since 1980, whose parents forced you to listen to my music as child abuse, or born before 1960, but can no longer remember the 60's. [laughs] Those are my groups.

Kenny Rogers is scheduled to perform on Sunday, March 23, at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler.

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Location Info

Map

Ovations Live! Showroom at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino

5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler, AZ

Category: General


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107 comments
Pat Hexemer
Pat Hexemer

I saw the great Kenny Rogers in Lakland ,Fl. in the mid 70s ..Still love him.

Elroy Podratz
Elroy Podratz

One of my favorite all-time male singers. Kenny - remember when you performed out in the country near a little town called Parker Prairie, MN? I was there - great performance!!!

Melissa Lewis
Melissa Lewis

At 75 still gorgeous still kickin music but you are one of the best would love to see you in concert again always my favorite,love you

Judy Fraser
Judy Fraser

So loved the face he was born with, so sad he didn't.

Gary Reeser
Gary Reeser

AMEN TO THAT....THE TALENT ROLLS ON & ON.....NEVERENDING....WHAT AN AWESOME MAN/MUSICIAN/WRITER/PERFORMER!!!! Bless you Kenny Rogers

Margaretha Hamberger
Margaretha Hamberger

Just ordert your book love your voice to bad i live in spain would love to see you on stage .do you ever give concerts in europe.?your voice is pure gaensehaut ,!!!!K

Robin Nelson
Robin Nelson

Kenny just pulled into Bluewater Resort in a Beautiful motorhome. Can't wait for the concert tonight!!!

Deanna Martin
Deanna Martin

Love you Kenny, So happy I got to see you @ the Cannery on the 14th, You 1 awesome man :)

Patricia McLeod
Patricia McLeod

You are the greatest. I live 2 towns from you in NH. would you write me? Thanks. Patricia McLeod. I live in Franklin, NH.

Buffy Wilkerson
Buffy Wilkerson

Kenny Rogers is THE man...his music has been touching my soul for over 30 yrs....Keep up the magic Music Man...Love you to pieces....

Lorene Wynn
Lorene Wynn

Love this man, he is awesome. Saw him a few years ago at the Colorado State Fair. He puts on a great show. Love him and Dolly together.

Rennae Marshall Christman
Rennae Marshall Christman

And 75 never looked so stinking good...LY Kenny Rogers...Through The Years..Still makes me cry!! You Can't Make Old Friends...Love it and you!! Your photography...Freaking rocks!!

Donna Williams
Donna Williams

I want to go to one concert and have him sing (to me) Lady..... I'd melt.....

Faith Gilman
Faith Gilman

I didn't even recognize him. When I lived in NY I went to each and every Christmas show he had. I met Garth Brooks at one of Kenny's shows. Sorry I can't look at him now !!

Teresa Seivert
Teresa Seivert

Mr. Roger, I was wondering if you were still with us. I grew up on COUNTRY MUSIC those were clean, pure, wholesome songs back than. The songs they have today is not that GREAT. I miss hearing you and Dolly Parton sing together. I need to ask you, are you a Christian? Can someone tell me if you are still with us?. May God Bless you and family and may He keep you ALL SAFE from harm.

Christy Morris
Christy Morris

I am shocked that Houston, or anything close to here isn't a stop on the tour. I guess it is not a big deal 4 the hometown of his success, is an afterthought. I believe there are venues that are available in the vastness that is the first to know his name in secular country music, and he jad friends here. Cant make old one's, so you don't look back.

Beatriz Maradiaga
Beatriz Maradiaga

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Valeria Ciaramelli
Valeria Ciaramelli

There are people who never should grow up, and he is one of them. People love and need Kenny, 4 ever and ever.

Gail Postell
Gail Postell

Kenny is a legend and the best singer ever in my opinion!!! Love that man.....

Pamela Klingler
Pamela Klingler

I love all Kenny's songs. He's my favorite singer. Then it dolly

Yolanda Escarzaga
Yolanda Escarzaga

I love Kenny Rogers......" LADY". i love many many of his songs... but the song "LADY" number one for me.. xxooxxoo

Maria G Bustillos
Maria G Bustillos

we want to see you in concert when you came to Boise but we couldn't make it. Our Wedding Song is Lady My Song from my Guy

Terry Lecompte
Terry Lecompte

I have Always loved your songs Kenny. Islands in the stream is an all time favorite!!

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