Legendary country music singer Kenny Rogers, whose music career spanned over 6 decades, died this past Friday at the age of 81. Well-known for ‘The Gambler’ song, his music career of over 6 decades spanned country, folk, pop and jazz music, but for poker players it was his 1979 version of the Don Schlitz-penned song – The Gambler that resonates to date. His passing away was a great loss to the music industry, and tributes to the legend poured in from fans as well as musical artists.
According to family members, Rogers “passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.” They also mentioned that there will be a memorial for Rogers at a later date, because of the current fear of the deadly Coronavirus threat.
“Kenny Rogers left an indelible mark on the history of American music. His songs have endeared music lovers and touched the lives of millions around the world,” a statement posted by Hagan says.
Rogers won a six Country Music Awards and three Grammy Awards. He had a total of 24 No.1 hits in his career with more than 50 million albums sold in the US alone. Born in Houston, Texas, in 1938, he was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.’The Gambler’ was his hit 1978 song that also won him a Grammy. And that is the song that poker players would never forget, as he had some vital advice in it and the iconic lyrics are still part of every old-school players’ repertoire.
‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know 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
Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin’
Is knowin’ what to throw away
And knowin’ what to keep
‘Cause every hand’s a winner
And every hand’s a loser
And the best that you can hope for is to die
in your sleep’
Apart from his fame with The Gambler, Rogers had a highly successful singing career that included duets with Dolly Parton, most notably ‘Islands in the Stream’, with Lionel Richie on ‘Lady’, and also the very popular song ‘Coward of the County’. He also appeared in several films and TV programs based on ‘The Gambler’ and interestingly he was the main character in those spacial movies.