Kenny Rogers: Still Going Strong

Sources: Upstate Live – Kathy Stockbridge | All Things Michael

kenny-rogers

If a person was to go to research country music over the last 60 years, the one name that would continuously pop up as a pioneer in country music would be Kenny Rogers. Kenny’s unique raspy voice, his charming good looks, his witty personality, and his varied range of talent in all aspects of entertainment sets him apart from the others, and makes him an entertainers entertainer. […]

Kenny has one of those voices that amasses fans everywhere he goes, including those from other genres. Kenny’s ability to cross over into unchartered waters from Country to Pop, when there were clearly lines between the two at the time, set a precedent that would allow other country musicians to follow to this very day. One of Kenny’s most memorable cross over moments recently just celebrated a 30 year anniversary; the “We Are The World” song and video. This particular project was a collective effort of artists from all over the nation to gather to bring a voice for those in need during the 1980’s. To this very day seeing this video and hearing this song, touches our hearts.  I am happy to report as well that this project still continues to raise money to help those in need.  Kenny’s ability to straddle both genres is a feat that not easily accomplished, and whether it was Michael Jackson back in the 1980’s or his recent performance with Phish at the 2012 Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Kenny’s ability to bridge these genres, bridge these generations, and bridge continents bringing his music to those that love him never ceases to amaze me, once again demonstrating that music is a universal language.

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I recently saw Kenny Rogers on “The Big Interview” with Dan Rather, and was once again blown away  by yet another talent that Kenny possesses.  Over the years Kenny has had the ability to fine tune his camera skills and has become one fine photographer.  In 1987, Kenny Rogers published a collection of photographs featuring some of the days biggest names in the entertainment business; Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Ray Charles to name a few.

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During this interview he spoke of how he shot it all in black and white, and how his friends agreed to the shoot because he promised to shoot one role of film only.  If he got it (the photo), he got it.  If not, than that was it.  To see some of these photos, I am absolutely in awe.  Kenny has the eye my friends. The collection, titled “Your Friends and Mine,” showcased Kenny’s ability to capture the feelings or another human being in one still moment.

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His use of black and white was classic, and his use of lighting for the subjects, spot on.  My adoration for the man and his talent just grew tenfold. The one thing I’ve learned about Kenny, he loves to wear many hats, and try many new ventures, and for each one he attempts, he nails it. Whether it is songwriting, performing, producing, engineering, photography, or acting, Kenny’s ambition to satisfy his creative outlet becomes our prize.

As Kenny took the stage at the Turning Stone his stage presence and witty personality had the audience eating out of his hand the moment he walked out there. I absolutely loved Kenny’s ability to laugh at life and himself. Recently making a commercial for Geico, as the commercial played on the screen behind him, he teased the audience about his role as The Gambler singing “Know When To Fold Them”, and this jesting continued throughout the evening.  It is this lighthearted attitude coupled with his ability to reach out and touch his audience on a personal level that makes him a legend.

 

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