Remembering Kenny Rogers

I see where Kenny Rogers just died of natural causes at 81, and it saddens me.

I spent a little time with Rogers at the Roanoke Civic Center before a sold-out concert about 35 or so years ago when he was at the very height of his popularity. He was, quite simply, a courteous, interested, kind man who made time for a young reporter.

At the time, he was waiting to go on and Dottie West (whom I also interviewed and found to be delightful) was winding down her act. Dottie was killed in a car wreck a good while ago). I liked her.

One of the roadies came into the room where we were talking and said, “You got a couple of minutes, Kenny. Might want to come on up there.”

Rogers was completely unconcerned. “Let me finish here,” he said, then turned to me and added, “Oh, we have plenty of time. Those guys worry themselves and me to death.”

We took about 10 more minutes and I said, “You probably ought to go on out” and he smiled and came back and said, “It’s my show. I can go when I want to. Any more questions?”

I grinned and said, “Nah. That’ll do. Gotta talk to Dottie.”

“Oh, I see, he said.” And he did.

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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