We all know Kenny Rogers to be one of the most celebrated country artists of all time. So it may come as a surprise to many that the late singer said he experienced difficulty in making music people wanted to buy.
Lucille” became Rogers’ first hit song. In 1977, the song reached the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country Songs list and No. 5 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.
Rogers said “Lucille” became a hit after he performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After the performance, 10,000 copies of the single were requested.
Seemingly overnight, we went from two shows on weeknights and three on Sunday in Las Vegas lounges to the main showrooms,” wrote Rogers in his book Luck or Something Like It.
After an initial run of success, the hits stopped coming around the 1980s. Roger said he knew success doesn’t last forever, “Success is never everlasting, and mine was no exception,” wrote Rogers. “At some point, inevitably, this parade of hits had to end, and that point came halfway through the 1980s.”
Even though Rogers had hit a rough patch, he continued performing through the tough times. Rogers attributed the tough times partly because the country music landscape has changed with younger artists arriving on the scene making his music harder to sell to the masses.
By the early 90s, it was getting tougher and tougher to even get my songs played on the radio
He continued to tour regularly until his retirement in 2017. Rogers had acting roles in movies and television shows, including the title roles in Kenny Rogers as The Gambler and the MacShayne series for The NBC Mystery Movie, and the 1982 feature film Six Pack.