Kenny Rogers ( 1938- 2020 ) …………my idol in life.

If you see the above live radio program clip ( 2.5 min ),  you will understand how the singer gets an entire audience to sing, in small groups and then all together. They are his old fans no doubt and  they know the song, but making someone participate and feel involved in a live program this way is awesome, and see the fantastic way he does that. Also do note the mesmerised audience. 

There are many great singers, but  the greatest ones have a different  story or song to tell. Kenny Rogers died recently at age 81, and a golden chapter in country music came to an end. 

I have been listening to Kenny Rogers, the country music legend since the time I was in college. I recorded his songs on a cassette player when  the internet  did not exist and when digital audio audio files were not available. I  had all the lyrics of his songs written down.

All songs in country music have a story to tell,  and some of his fantastic songs had wonderful subject matters too.  His silken voice was out of the world.  His stage presence just awesome. 

For those who do not know much about country music and it’s beats and the storyline concept of its songs,  just Google Kenny Rogers and listen to  The Gambler, The Coward of the County, and a few others.. One of the most memorable is ISLANDS IN THE STREAM with Dolly Parton, who was  a great friend throughout his life.                                                                    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQW7I62TNOw )       

Definitely he had a profound impact on my way of looking at my life and my personal issues,  and I am sure he has influenced millions of others too.

What I learned from Kenny Rogers’ persona and songs/ lyrics were some important lessons in life.  Whatever you do,  has to be in the benefit of people and public good. As the short clip indicates, he was simply excellent in getting people together. Narrowed down to a basic life  of an ordinary mortal like me, it translated for me subconsciously  into team building being a very important area of life, sharing knowledge and experiences -whether at the work place or in homes or within extended family groups or friends.  This seems simple elements of life, but unfortunately these qualities  are not taught in schools and college, at least in India. You learn these only from people.

Singers and song writers and sportsmen make great leaders, few people realise that. They create a harmonious blend between skill and ability on one side and transparency and team work on the other. Leaders hence are great team builders, motivators, orators, and communicators  and most film and song producers, musicians and singers are great team players or leaders themselves.  And yes, Kenny worked actively till he was 78, travelling around USA and the world. An inspiration to Keep Walking for all of us.

Kenny had extremely humble origins ( his father was a carpenter ), but created  a colossal wealth over his lifetime. I feel he would not have even bothered how much it was, just like the line in his song THE GAMBLER…. “there’s time enough for counting when the dealing  is done”.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hx4gdlfamo&list=RD7hx4gdlfamo&start_radio=1&t=0 )

As mentioned earlier as regards the messages in country music songs, do not miss the message in the above one-

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em (when to hold ’em)
Know when to fold ’em (when to fold ’em)
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Lead your life well, and do a great job- others will count for you.

Hats of to you Kenny Rogers,  for influencing my life though you didn’t know me.

Dinesh Bandiwadekar ( dinesh.bandiwadekar@gmail.com / 9619545460 )  

Further reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_Rogers

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