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Arts and Music

Ten Fun Facts About The Gambler

1. Before he became a famous country singer, Kenny Rogers’ first forays into music found him playing in a rockabilly group called The Scholars and the jazz combo The Bobby Doyle Trio.

2. Once a member of the folk group The New Christy Minstrels, Rogers’ fellow alumni include Kim Carnes, Barry McGuire and Gene Clark of The Byrds.

3. When Kenny Rogers sang lead on the 1967 First Edition psychedelic single “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” the single was produced by future TV theme show guru Mike Post and featured Glen Campbell playing the backward guitar intro.

4. In 1970, Kenny Rogers produced the self-titled debut by Shiloh, a group that featured fellow Texan and future Eagle Don Henley on drums.

5. Photography is a longtime hobby of Kenny Rogers that’s resulted in the 1986 travelogue Kenny Roger’s America and 1987’s Your Friends and Mine, which features portraits of a number of celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson, Linda Evans, Ray Charles, George Burns and President Ronald Reagan.

6. Comedians are Kenny Rogers favorite opening act and over the years he’s toured with Jerry Seinfeld, Harry Anderson, Steve Martin and Gallagher.

7. Over the years, Kenny Rogers’ hit duet partners have included Kim Carnes, Dotty West, Dolly Parton, Ronnie Milsap and Sheena Easton.

8. During the 1990s, the country music superstar expanded his empire by going into the restaurant business via the Kenny Rogers Roasters chain, made famous in a Seinfeld episode. Today, there are no U.S.-based franchises, with all remaining eateries operating in Asia.

9. As of 2011, Kenny Rogers has sold more than 190 million records and recorded 65 albums.

10. On June 10, 2012, Kenny Rogers helped close out the three-day Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival by appearing onstage with headliners Phish to perform his signature song “The Gambler.”