I’ve seen him recently in the news as he played in Branson a couple years ago, and the review was a little harsh as he was older and couldn’t do what he’d done in better years.
The best of those years probably came in the early 1980s when he had great crossover success with songs like “Islands in the Stream”, “Lady”, and “Love Will Turn You Around” not to mention the country staples like “The Gambler”.
My favorite Kenny Rogers song was “Coward of the County”:
Mainly because I was a scrawny kid, and I hoped I would be able to lash out appropriately if needed. Apparently not, or perhaps I really never needed it.
Like “The Gambler”, this song was turned into a television movie that I probably saw back in the day. Before cable television and the Internet, gentle reader, you pretty much had to watch what was on, and we did.
I’m also a fan of the recent song “The Greatest”:
Although a little research indicates that this song is twenty-three years old. In my defense, I didn’t listen to country in the late 1990s, and I was exposed to the song as I started to mow the lawn at Nogglestead and could only pull in a “classic” country station. Which is also why I thought “Could Have Been Me” was also a recent Billy Ray Cyrus song.
At any rate, Kenny Rogers left his mark on the music, as he was part of the pop-ization wave of country in the late 1970s and early 1980s that spawned a reactionary, more country sound in the 1990s. And the cycle continues today.