Kenny Rogers opens up about childhood, career in memoir

Mon Oct 1, 2012 5:23pm EDT
 
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By Jill Jacobs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Country music star Kenny Rogers offers a revealing look into his life and five-decade-long musical career in "Luck or Something Like It," his memoir that will be released on Tuesday.

From his humble beginnings in Depression-era Texas, the Grammy-winning singer paints a portrait of his road to success and how he became one of the world's best-selling musicians with more than 120 million albums sold worldwide.

Rogers, 74, whose hits include "Lady," "The Gambler," "We've Got Tonight" and "Lucille," spoke to Reuters about his childhood, his father's alcoholism and why he compares music to a mistress.

Q: In what ways do you think your challenging upbringing has helped shaped you?

A: "I think it made me more determined. 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."

Q: You also share your father's struggles with alcoholism and its effect on you.

A: "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. Plus I didn't know if there was any predetermination for me as the son of an alcoholic to become addicted, so I just never tried it."   Continued...

 
Country singer Kenny Rogers and his wife Wanda pose for photographers as the arrive at the Kennedy Center for the 29th Annual Gala in Washington in this file photo taken December 3, 2006. Rogers offers a revealing look into his life and five-decade-long musical career in "Luck or Something Like It," his memoir that will be released on Tuesday. REUTERS/Mike Theiler