Kenny Rogers 45 RPM "For You Alone," 1958

Texas native becomes a music legend and American icon

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by Jenny Cobb, Associate Curator of Exhibitions

Country music legend and Houston-native Kenny Rogers (1938-) entered the music industry with a broad musical background, having been exposed to R&B, pop, jazz, and country music from an early age.

In 1956, he formed his first band, a rockabilly group called the Scholars, while attending Houston’s Jefferson Davis High School. Two years later, Rogers launched his professional career with this single, "For You Alone," a romantic ballad marking his songwriting debut.

Despite success throughout the 1960s, it was not until his breakthrough, Grammy-winning performance of "Lucille” in 1977 that Rogers was launched to superstardom. Between 1977 and 1987, Rogers recorded twenty #1 country hits, many of which climbed the pop charts as well. Into the late 1980s and 1990s, in addition to his regular work recording new music and touring worldwide, Rogers established himself as a well-respected photographer, publishing several books. He was even invited to the White House to shoot a portrait of First Lady Hillary Clinton.

Rogers continues to perform today. In a career that has spanned more than half a century, Rogers is one of the best-selling music artists of all time with 24 songs that have reached #1 on various Top 40 lists and more than 100 million records sold worldwide. He has received countless honors including three GRAMMY Awards, 18 American Music Awards, 11 People’s Choice Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and five Country Music Association Awards. Rogers was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013. In November 2014, he was presented with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the Country Music Awards.

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Kenny Rogers 45 RPM "For You Alone," 1958 Artifact from Houston, TX
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