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Strictly Country Magazine Kenny Rogers Title

I Will Remember You…

 

By: Gina Kay Singerhouse

Editor

 

   The first day of Spring.  If you are in tune with the cycles of the natural world, you can feel the precise moment when winter releases its cold grasp of death.  It is a time to surrender to the finality of death so life can once live again.   On this day, we as a collective, release the breath we have held since winter solstice.  Subconsciously our souls recognize the renewal that awaits in the coming days…

 

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories.

   The memories of the cold long winter days begin to fade in the early morn when the dark obsidian sky is filled with millions of stars the light of the waking sun shows a glimmer of hope for a new day.  It is on this morning a man, who has touched so many, takes his last breath…


I'm so tired
I can't sleep
Standing on the edge of something
Much too deep.

 

Millions of people around the world gasped as word spread that legendary entertainer Kenny Rogers had died.  It is March 20, 2020, the first day of Spring…

It’s funny how we feel so much
And cannot say a word
We're screaming inside
But we can't be heard

At first we are stunned, horrified, and then the pain of loss fills the hearts and souls of those who enjoyed his music.  People in the music industry gathered to share pictures and stories of a humble man who was larger than life.  News outlets who knew nothing about his music, than the few hit songs, scramble to write articles that are based on the facts one can read about on Wikipedia or any music reference book.  Those who knew his music, dug through their collections to relive the artist…


I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories.

 

Some fans cry, while others share when and where they experienced Kenny Rogers perform live.  Some music aficionados talk about their favorite Kenny Roger’s songs.  Some entertainers share stories while others offer condolences.  Then there are those who…

break down and cry…


So afraid to love you
More afraid to loose
Clinging to past
That doesn't let me choose.

 

For a brief few days, we cling to what once was.  Kenny Rogers, the Gambler.  Kenny Rogers, the actor.  Kenny Rogers, the tennis player.  Kenny Rogers, the photographer.  Kenny Rogers, the musician.

"I just checked in to see what condition my condition was in…"


Well, once there was a darkness
A deep and endless night
You gave me everything
You gave me light.

 

Statistics are thrown around like a baseball tossed between two children.  “I am the greatest that is understood, but even I didn’t know I could pitch that good…” 


I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories.

 

How many awards and how many accolades did Kenny Rogers earn?  Strictly Country honored him with four Spirit Awards, including Living Legend of the Year in 2001.
“I guess I can’t win this, when I’m dead…” laughed Kenny Rogers…


Remember all
The good times that we had
Let them slip away from us
And things got bad.

 

“You come to a certain point in your life where it’s not about you anymore and, for me, it’s about my wife and my boys. I want to be able to do things with them and for them so, when I’m gone, they can look back and remember how cool those things were and the time we were together.” shared Kenny.


Clearly I first saw you
Smiling in the sun
I want to feel your warmth
I want to be the one.

 

So many duets with so many great artists.  Dottie West, Lionel Richie, Wynonna Judd, Alison Krauss, Linda Davis and more.

“You can’t make old friends, not the way we’ve always been…” Dolly Parton.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories.

 

Some believe the testament of a man is found in the friends he had.  Nonetheless, the evidence is found within his vast musical catalog.  Kenny Rogers was a musician who believed in the message and influence of the music. When you take a closer look at his musical collection, you will find consequential pieces filled with heart, soul, love, and life.  One can easily see that he took heart to which songs he was willing to record.  “My Petition,” “The Last Ten Years (Superman),” “One Life,” “Buy Me A Rose,” a few of his more prominent songs.


I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories.

 

On October 25, 2017, Kenny Rogers stood on stage at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, for one final time.  When the lights have dimmed, the curtains closed and the fans have left, the only thing that lingered was the music that still echoed off the walls.  Kenny Rogers graced the stage to take one final look out into the empty seats. So many memories, through so many years. Miles filled with towns, motels, fans and radio…Is he really gone?  By all means no…


Weep not for the memories.

“You come to a certain point in your life where it’s not about you anymore and, for me, it’s about my wife and my boys. I want to be able to do things with them and for them so, when I’m gone, they can look back and remember how cool those things were and the time we were together…” Kenny Rogers (August 21, 1938 – March 20, 2020)


The memories...

© Strictly Country Magazine March 30, 2020.

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Strictly Country Magazine Kenny Rogers

"Kenny Rogers was a pioneer in the music world. He was a friend of ALABAMA and will be missed by all. Rest in Peace."
-Jeff Cook, ALABAMA
 
"Last night we lost a friend and one of the classic voices that easily melted county, rock and pop together in a way no one had done before. We will certainly miss you Kenny."
-Teddy Gentry, ALABAMA
 
"With sadness I heard about the passing of a great Hall of Famer. Kenny Rogers was a special treasure to country music and the world. He will be missed by all."
-Randy Owen, ALABAMA
 
"Thank you Kenny Rogers for being a part of our lives for so long. Your songs are woven into the fabric of our memories Ч classics, that will live on in the musical heart of a world thaat will miss you so much. Rest in peace, Gambler."
-Charlie Daniels
 
"Kenny Rogers was truly an artist of the highest caliber. As a singer, songwriter, entertainer, and actor, he opened doors and enhanced the careers of many other artists just by recording a song with them. His voice and smooth singing style enabled him to move in and out of different musical genres like walking from one room to the next. But music was not his only creative outlet. He was also an amazing photographer. Rest well my brother, you gave us a lot in this life!"
-Ricky Skaggs
 
"Kenny was a nice man and a great entertainer who had a way of making a song all his own. He will be missed."
-Ray Stevens
 
"I have lost an old friend and the world has lost a consummate entertainer. 'The Gatlin Boys' did hundreds of shows with 'Kenneth' as we called him. More often than not, I watched from the wings as he masterfully strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage. Last night, 'the Gambler he broke even.'"
-Larry Gatlin
 
"Kenny was one of the few that successfully crossed genres. I've been a fan from a long time back, and we will all miss his voice and style."
-John Anderson
 
"As long as I can remember there has been Kenny Rogers. It began the moment daddy brought home his 'First Edition' album with the soon to be hit single 'Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town.' That song put daddy on the map as a songwriter, and Kenny Rogers became a legend in the making. And I loved that voice! Many years later as a fledgling entertainer, I got to open for him and watch a true master at work. A dream come true was getting to sing with him. Totally unreal. Another special moment was having Kenny Rogers, the photographer, take one of my favorite portraits of dad and I. Ever. A true renaissance man. Kenny, thank you for a lifetime of music and memories. Sending deepest sympathies to his family."
-Pam Tillis

"I am heartsick over the loss of my friend. We had many fun times-on and off stage! He took me around the world with him. Kenny was such a giving person. He taught me more than I could ever express. He invited me into the KR Family for which I am so thankful. Kenny shared everything... his talents, his stage... his family, friends and fans but most of all he shared his heart with me!! RIP Sweet Music Man." - Linda Davis

"To one of the old guys that taught me so much, God Bless you, Kenny. Keep an eye out for Larry Butler."
-Doug Gray, The Marshall Tucker Band
 
"Kenny Rogers was not only my friend, he was my mentor. The void he leaves will be impossible to fill. Countless memories 'Through the Years' will never leave the people's lives he so graciously touched. Rest in peace, dear friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to Wanda and his beautiful family."
-T.G. Sheppard
 
"Kenny Rogers was a true southern gentleman. He brought sophistication, elegance and class to country music. He broke down many barriers and paved the way for so many artists. He taught me the importance of work ethic. My heart goes out to the entire Rogers family."
-Billy Dean
 
"The world has lost a legend and a great man. He was one of a kind and such an amazing talent. Prayers to Kenny's family from ours."
-Aaron Tippin
 
"I am deeply saddened by the news of Kenny Rogers' passing. I am honored to say that I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Kenny on many occasions. He was always so kind, respectful, and uplifting to me. Being chosen by Kenny to perform at his Songwriters Hall of Fame induction in New York City years ago was one of the great honors of my career. Whenever I asked for his help at a charity event or show, Kenny always said yes. He was a wonderful, kind, loving, human being and a truly amazing artist who transcended all genres for every generation. Kenny will never be forgotten. I'll forever be grateful and humbled to have known him and shared the stage with him. There will never be another Kenny Rogers. May God be with you, my friend."
-Collin Raye
 
"In a time such as the days we are living through, Kenny Rogers embraces a known bright tomorrow. He left the pain in this world and has moved onto the shores of the everlasting. To his family we send our deepest condolences."
-Marty Raybon, Shenandoah
 
"Kenny Rogers set the gold standard for the music industry. Restless Heart was honored to tour with him in our early years, and we'll never forget his kindness and encouragement. We were fortunate to perform with him again in 2013 and he still had the easy going manner, the storytelling magic and the unforgettable voice that made him a global superstar. We were inspired by his artistry and comforted by his humanity. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and loved ones."
-Dave Innis, Restless Heart
 
"Kenny's songs, his voice and his style made a huge impact on me. He single-handedly changed the sound of the radio like no one else has since. What a wonderful human being as well. Thank you for your music, Kenny Rogers. You will be missed."
-Larry Stewart, Restless Heart
 
"Kenny was always very kind to me. My mother was one of his biggest fans and he was very gracious to her as well. We will surely miss that unmistakable voice."
-Darryl Worley
 
"What a super legend. He was always nice to me. God bless the "Sweet Music Man."
-Sammy Kershaw
 
"The passing of Kenny Rogers is a great loss to the entertainment industry, but his musical legacy will endure forever."
-Leroy Van Dyke
 
"Kenny was in Branson for a time with me. What a great talent and a great legend in our business. He was always so nice to me. I always respected his talents so much."
-Moe Bandy
 
"I was deeply saddened by the news of Kenny's passing. Early on, I was profoundly influenced by his work in 'The First Edition.' For me it represented an early country rock musical persona done in precise and ultimately professional style. He went on to stardom of staggering heights and remained gracious through it all. An extremely rare talent!"
-Henry Paul, BlackHawk / The Outlaws

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