Synopses & Reviews
A remarkable story of a boy who couldn't stop singing, and a man who knew how to hold 'em
For more than half a century, Kenny Rogers has been recording some of the most revered and beloved music in America and around the world. In that time, he has become a living legend by combining everything from R&B to country and gospel to folk in his unique voice to create a sound that's both wholly original and instantly recognizable.
Now, in his first-ever memoir, Kenny details his lifelong journey to becoming one of American music's elder statesmen—a rare talent who's created hit records for decades while staying true to his values as a performer and a person. Exploring the struggles of his long road, his story begins simply: growing up in Depression-era Texas, living in the projects, surviving in poverty, and listening to his mother, who always had just the right piece of wisdom.
Recounting his early years, first as a jazz bassist and later as a member of the pioneering folk group the New Christy Minstrels, Kenny charts how he came into his own as an artist with the First Edition, only to have the band's breakup in the 1970s raise questions about his musical future. Yet, as Kenny explains, it was precisely this soul-searching that led him to a new direction on his own in Nashville. Telling the stories that have become legends in a town that's seen many of them, he recalls the making of his career in country music and his most memorable songs, including "Lucille," "The Gambler," "Lady," and "Islands in the Stream." Along the way, he shares the friendships, both big and small, that have meant the most to him, describing the good times he's had with Dottie West, Lionel Richie, and, of course, Dolly Parton, and how through it all he continues to make music with the passion that has defined him from the start.
Staring across the decades, Kenny writes a story seemingly straight from one of his songs. The end result is a rollicking ride through fifty years of music history, which offers a heartwarming testament to a time when country music wasn't just a brand but a way of life.
"Kenny Rogers waited until he was 74 years old to publish this memoir, probably because his life while certainly full lacks the over-the-top shenanigans of other mainstream celebrities. A nondrinker and nonsmoker, Rogers only experimented with drugs early in his career; women have been his biggest vice, and he writes candidly here about his five marriages and an early-'90s phone-sex scandal that seems almost quaint today. In the same relaxed, simple voice that delivered the massive crossover hits 'The Gambler,' 'She Believes in Me' and 'Lady,' Rogers chronicles his childhood in the housing projects of Houston, where his sister Geraldine instilled in him a love of singing harmony that would later help him sell more than 125 million albums; his transition from bass player and singer in the First Edition to solo superstar status near the age of 40;and his various side projects, including USA for Africa, Kenny Rogers Roasters, tennis, television, photography and even theater. Along the way, Rogers takes swipes at Tom Jones, Lorne Greene, the Captain & Tennille and at least one of his ex-wives, while also sharing the catalysts for some of his most abiding hits. Ripe with nostalgia, this book should please Rogers's fans while encouraging newcomers to explore his diverse and deep body of work. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Rogers is an exquisite storyteller, able to get across a range of ideas and emotions in songs like ‘Lucille and ‘The Gambler. That breezy, conversational tone comes across on the page.” Entertainment Weekly
“In his aw-shucks, sit-down-and-listen-for-a-spell memoir.... he reminisces in never-before-told stories…Rogers gracefully recalls the ups and downs on his wild ride to fame.” BookPage
“Engagingly honest.” Toronto Star
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 well-bringing 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.
About the Author
Kenny Rogers is one of the bestselling artists of all time with more than 120 million albums sold worldwide. He has endeared himself to music lovers around the world with hit songs like "Lady," "The Gambler," "Islands in the Stream," and "Love or Something Like It." He is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and has won eighteen American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and five Country Music Association Awards.