For a long time, I thought Kenny Rogers was the man who played Grizzly Adams in the '70s television series of the same name and once told my dad, "You know that guy who sings about gambling and lives in a cabin with a bear? He got arrested for cocaine possession."
While sitting at my desk today, pretending to work but actually browsing pop culture sites, I saw Kenny's familiar face and a blurb about an upcoming autobiography. I thought, "I might write an article about this, it could be interesting." I didn't realize how difficult a task it would actually be. Apart from a successful music career, a botched face-lift a few years ago and a string of failed marriages, the title "Kenny Rogers is writing an autobiography" basically covers any further interest in the subject.
However, every ten years or so Kenny pops up again, usually looking slimmer and younger than he did in previous appearances, and finds a reason to yell, "Hey everybody, remember me?" But disappears again when no one notices. Since the ebb of a successful music career which gave him country legend status, Kenny has experimented with photography, appeared in his own off-Broadway musical and opened a restaurant chain called Kenny Rogers Roasters, which, along with comedic sketches of a sloppy drunk Kenny, became the center of frequent jokes on television and the Internet.
This time Kenny is writing an autobiography and has said, "The older I get, the more interesting my life used to be. If I don't write a book now, I may forget it all." Hats off to Kenny for not settling down during his autumnal years and instead continually pursuing his creative interests, even after most of his original demographic has died. Today's younger country audience prefers Taylor Swift and the like, but Kenny does not seem to listen to suggestions of retirement and, due to a request that MGM change a "50 year celebration" in his honor to "the first 50 years," he apparently intends to live forever.
Rogers is planning a South American gospel tour this month and his book is slated for a fall release from HarperCollins. I probably won't be waiting in line for a copy signed by Kenny's arthritic hands, as I would rather hold on to my early memories of him cutting firewood so he and Ben can last out the winter in their cabin.