Kenny Rogers Memoir: 'The Gambler' Singer Opens Up About Troubled Childhood, Five Marriages, Alcoholic Father in 'Luck or Something Like it"
Country music singer Kenny Rogers opened up about his life and career in a revealing memoir, "Luck or Something Like It."
The book was published by HarperCollins Publishers on Oct. 2.
The 304-page memoir is described:
A living legend of Country Music and a worldwide music icon, superstar Kenny Rogers has enjoyed a fascinating five decades in show business, and he tells the full story of his remarkable life and career in Luck or Something Like It. From his days with hit group The First Edition to his sterling solo work, the artist who "knows when to hold 'em and knows when to fold 'em" knows how to tell a captivating life story as wellbringing a golden era of Country Music to life as he recounts his remarkable rise to the top of the charts. An honest, moving, eye-opening view of a musician's life on the road, Luck or Something Like It is the definitive music memoir a backstage pass to fifty years of performing and recording presented by the one and only Kenny Rogers, one of the bestselling artists ever.
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Rogers, 74, has sold over 120 million albums worldwide. His hit songs include "Lady," "The Gambler," "Lucille," and "We've Got Tonight."
In an interview with Reuters, Rogers said that his challenging upbringing in Texas made him more determined to be successful.
"One of the things I talk about in the book is the fine line between being driven and being selfish. I think there were times in my life I was so driven I became very selfish, and I'm not proud of that. I think it's a realization I came to when I was writing this book."
The Grammy-award winning singer also opens up about his father struggling with alcohol.
"I think that one of the real tragedies in my life is that I never really got to know why my dad drank. He was an alcoholic, but during that time, post-War World Two, a lot of people were unemployed and ended up drinking. He couldn't really support his family and I think it just broke him down. It breaks my heart that I didn't know that before he passed away."
"I never drank in my life. I saw it destroy him and saw it destroy other people I work with, so I made a conscious decision about this."
On his mother:
"I think my mom would have loved it. When I was working on this project, I was told if they like the boy, they'll love the man. So we spent a lot of time talking about my childhood, how we didn't have a lot of money and how my mom kind of force-fed us religion. She was a true believer with lots of wisdom. When I once complained about going to church, she told me, 'You can never be more as an adult than what's put into you as a child.' She was amazingly astute for a person with a third grade education."
Rogers also opened up about his five marrages:
"When I became driven and selfish I was so intent to follow my life that it cost me. I was gone so much from some of my marriages that there was a disconnect."
"And this may seem like an absurd statement, but every woman I married, I really loved when I married her. And I don't blame them for the marriage falling apart. I blame myself and my chosen field of music."
"Wanda and I have been together now for 20 years, been married 15 years. She's 28 years younger than me, and I say this from the bottom of my heart - she is my soul mate. She knows me better than anyone else has known me. She loves what I do and I'm not as insensitive to her needs as I may have been in the past."
The book also got rave reviews:
"Unassuming memoir by one-time chartbuster Rogers, he of "The Gambler" fame. The author's approach to memoir writing is consonant with his approach to song crafting and chicken making: crowd-pleasing, unchallenging and resolutely middle-of-the-road. Some might call it bland, but it's calculated not to offend."- Kirkus Reviews
"'Luck or Something Like It' reveals how the young Houston musician experimented with doo-wop, jazz, and mainstream pop before settling into the country genre for which he's been known. It also describes how his deep faith and the importance to his life of artists including Elvis Pressley, Dolly Parton, and Ray Charles." - Barnes & Noble
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