Kenny Rogers, born Kenneth Ray Rogers, was an American singer-songwriter who could boast of having classified no less than 120 titles to date and, rare thing, in various musical fields. But also to have remained No.1 on the Pop and Country Charts for over 200 weeks cumulatively and to have sold around 100 million records worldwide. Just that !
He started his artistic career in the mid-1950s with the very Rockabilly-oriented group The Scholars. Group which will have some success in particular thanks to the title “Poor little Doggie”. But a short-lived success.
We find him a few years later in a group this time jazzy called The Bobby Douyle Three. Adventure once again without a future. We are then in 1965.
New parenthesis in 1966 with The New Christy Minstrels. Once again of short duration. After the disintegration of the group, he then takes with him several ex-members to form The First Edition.
This time, the adventure will last 10 years and produce a number of hits including "Just dropped in (To see what condition my condition was in)", "But you know I love you" and "Ruby, don't take your love to town ”. Against a background of the hippie period and a crazy psychedelic look.
It was in 1976 that he began his solo career. He released a first album "Love lifted me" which works mainly in the Country movement. Album which will produce two minor hits which are "Love lifted me" and "While the feeling's good".
Everything accelerated in 1977 when the eponymous album was released from which his first major hit, "Lucille", was to be extracted. The single will sell more than 5 million copies ! And the album is a worldwide hit.
The same year released the album "Daytime friends". New success, certainly less, but new success all the same thanks to 2 singles which are "Daytime friends" and "Sweet music man".
The album "Love or something like it" was released a year later in 1978 but produced no major hits except for the eponymous track which was the only one to stand out.
The same year saw the start of the consecration with the album "Gambler", an album of all records and which will stay in history as his highest ranked album of all. It sells millions of copies worldwide and will be certified Quintuple Platinum ! Album which will mainly produce the mega hit "She Believes in Me".
But that's without counting on the album “Kenny” which was released a year later in 1979. Certified Triple Platinum album from which the hit “You decorated my life” but also and above all the enormous “Coward of the country” was extracted which will stay as one of his biggest hits.
The end of the 70s also rhymes with duet, in particular with Dottie West with which he recorded several titles. Songs that will become very big Country standards like "Every time two fools collide", "Anyone who isn’t me tonight", "What are we doin 'in love" and other "All I ever need is you".
New charming and shocking duo to celebrate the transition to the 80s when they perform "Don’t fall in love with a dreamer" in the company of the rising star of the moment, a certain…Kim Carnes. The title is a real hit.
The ultimate consecration comes a few months later with a title that will forever remain one of the most beautiful ballads of the end of the 20th century, namely the magnificent and sumptuous "Lady". A legendary title offered to Rogers on a set in 1980 by another composer who will make a little talk about him later. A certain…Lionel Richie !
Richie also produced the album "Share you love" which was released in 1981. Album with four hits (!) which are "I don't need you", "Share your love with me", "Blaze of glory" and "Through the years ”. Rogers was then at the height of his popularity and his art.
New album "Love will turn you around" in 1982, album which hardly rivals the previous one as its predecessor set the bar high. The hit of the album name will be extracted.
The album "We’ve got tonight" released in 1983 did slightly better. Notably thanks to the title which bears the name of the album and which he sings in a duet with another rising star of the moment, Sheena Easton.
New winning partnership at the end of 1983 with another big name of the moment in the person of Barry Gibb, emblematic singer of the Bee Gees. Which produced the album "Eyes that see in the dark", album which allows Rogers to record a new high-profile success once again thanks to a duet. Duet this time with Dolly Parton on the title "Islands in the stream", colossal title which will remain as the best classified title of all its discography. The album will sell more than 2 million copies in the United States alone.
The year 1984 saw the release of the album "What about me ?" which recorded still impressive sales scores. The biggest hit on the album, the single that bears the name of the album, won't come from a duo this time around but rather from a trio. The winning trio of Rogers, Kim Carnes once again and another star of the moment namely James Ingram. The album will produce another hit with the track "Crazy".
A year later in 1985 the album "The heart of the matter" was released. An album of sure success, but the incredible dynamic that has carried Rogers for several years seems to be waning. The album would only produce one hit with the single "Morning Desire".
The following albums, "They don’t make them like they used to" in 1986, "I prefer the moonlight" in 1987 and "Something inside so strong" in 1989 confirm the slow but inexorable gradual fall of the artist. All three albums were to be relatively successful.
His last major success was in 1999 with the album "She rides wild horses", an album from which the top hit "Buy me a rose" was mainly extracted. Title performed once again by a trio made up of Rogers, Alison Krauss and Billy Dean.
On March 20, 2020, the artist, at age 81, will die of natural causes while in hospice care at his home in Sandy Springs, Georgia.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
That crazy feeling 1958
For you alone 1958
Love lifted me 1975
Daytime friends 1977
Sweet music man 1977
Love or something like it 1978
The gambler 1978
She believes in me 1979
You decorated my life 1979
Coward of the country 1979
Don’t fall in love with a dreamer 1980
Love the world away 1980
I don’t need you 1981
Share your love with me 1981
Blaze of glory 1981
Through the years 1982
Love will turn you around 1982
A love song 1982
We’ve got tonight 1983
All my life 1983
Islands in the stream 1983
This woman 1984
Eyes that see in the dark 1984
What about me ? 1984
Morning desire 1985
They don’t make them like they used to 1986
Twenty years ago 1987
Make no mistake, she’s mine 1987
When you put your heart in it 1988
The wovs go unbroken (Always true to you) 1989
Love is strange 1990
If you want to find love 1991
Buy me a rose 1999
He will, she knows 2000
There you go again 2001
Beautiful (All you could be) 2001
Harder cards 2002
I'm missing you 2003
Love like this 2003
Handprints on the wall 2003
My world is over 2004
I can't unlove you 2005
The last ten years 2006
Calling me 2007
Tell me that you love me 2009
You can't make old friends 2013
1958 ... the very first steps of a young unknown man who won't stay that way for long...unknown But at this point nobody imagines the incredible career that awaits him behind ...
1958 ... still no classified title but this young artist has talent, it is clear. It remains to work again and again to reach the required level that will allow him to enter the big leagues ...
1975 ... after several unsuccessful attempts in the 50s and 60s, the time for the 1st classified hits is coming. The beginning of the genesis of an extremely long career ...
1977 ... on an omnipresent Country base at the beginning of his career, he recorded his first global mega hit here. At least, in the Anglo-Saxon sphere ...
1977 ... a BIG 1977 with no less than 3 mega hits. It took him some time to break through but now that it's gone, nothing and no one will be able to stop him !
1977 ... a specialization in the Intimist field which will become his business. And which will allow him to produce several exceptional titles in this particular field ...
1978 ... he remains confined to a musical field at the antipodes of the dance trends of the moment. But in his field, he excels ...
1978 ... a pure American product based on this unique Country specificity in the world and of which he is undoubtedly one of the best representatives
1979 ... 1977 was an exceptional year for the artist. 1979 will prove to be yet another cut above. Yes Yes, it's possible. Starting with this sumptuous title !
1979 ... a festival of very high caliber Intimist titles that allow him to give the best of himself. And we are only at the beginning ...
1979 ... back to Country mode. Considering the impressive global sales scores of this title, there were fans at the time !
1980 ... transition to the 80s and obvious change. The artist will come out of this Country straitjacket which muzzles him to venture onto more trendy terrain. Starting with this magical duo with one of the current female stars across the Atlantic
1980 ... he offers in this year 1980 a triplet of mega Intimist hits of an incredible level. And yet, the most beautiful is yet to come !
1980 ... for the common people, here comes his Masterpiece. A gift from the gods offered to him by Lionel Richie and which will become one of the most beautiful titles of the decade and of the twentieth century period. An incredible title which definitely consecrates him at the planetary level as one of the greatest. MA-GIC !
1981 ... an exceptional dynamic that continues year after year. He no longer leaves this Intimist area which suits him perfectly and in which everything succeeds him !
1981 ... further proof with this highly inspired title, like many he has performed before. A real war machine of emotions !
1981 ... his stealthy returns in cowboy mode no longer pay off as before. The public no longer necessarily expects him on this ground ...