The Gambler is Gone: Kenny Rogers Dies at 81
Country Music is mourning the loss of one of the greats, as news spreads that Kenny Rogers has died.
Kenny Rogers has been a part of the fabric of my life for almost as far back as I can remember. He's always held a special place in my heart, since the days of waking up on Saturday mornings to his album on the record player.
My mom would often play his music while she cleaned house, and so opening my eyes to the sound of "The Gambler" was common, and a pretty nice way to start the day, too. It was a proud day for me when I got to take her to see him in concert.
When I met Kenny, it was at a Christmas concert he performed with Linda Davis. He brought people out of the audience to help him sing the "The 12 Days of Christmas" and then roamed through the crowd, offering the microphone to random people, letting them sing a line or two of other songs.
Kenny was an entertainer, like few others. He knew how to work a crowd, and re-invented himself countless times, to keep up with the changing trends. Backstage, he was gracious and friendly, eager to pose for pictures.
"Coward of the County" was the very first song ever played on Q-106.5. That song has always made me think of my early days with the station, when we were all young and excited about this new venture. How fitting that Rogers' music once again highlighted some of my fondest memories.
Kenny Rogers died on Friday of natural causes, in hospice care, surrounded by his family. May he rest in peace.The world of Country Music is a little sadder today, but blessed that he shared his gifts.
Rogers died "peacefully at home," a statement says, at 10:25 p.m. on Friday (March 20). He was under hospice care and with his loved ones at the time.