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Luck or Something Like It Hardcover – October 2, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Rogers is an exquisite storyteller, able to get across a range of ideas and emotions in songs like ‘Lucille’ and ‘The Gambler.’ That breezy, conversational tone comes across on the page.” (Entertainment Weekly)

“In his aw-shucks, sit-down-and-listen-for-a-spell memoir.... he reminisces in never-before-told stories…Rogers gracefully recalls the ups and downs on his wild ride to fame.” (BookPage)

“Engagingly honest.” (Toronto Star)

From the Back Cover

A remarkable story of a boy who couldn't stop singing, and a man who knew how to hold 'em

For more than half a century, Kenny Rogers has been recording some of the most revered and beloved music in America and around the world. In that time, he has become a living legend by combining everything from R&B to country and gospel to folk in his unique voice to create a sound that's both wholly original and instantly recognizable.

Now, in his first-ever memoir, Kenny details his lifelong journey to becoming one of American music's elder statesmen—a rare talent who's created hit records for decades while staying true to his values as a performer and a person. Exploring the struggles of his long road, his story begins simply: growing up in Depression-era Texas, living in the projects, surviving in poverty, and listening to his mother, who always had just the right piece of wisdom.

Recounting his early years, first as a jazz bassist and later as a member of the pioneering folk group the New Christy Minstrels, Kenny charts how he came into his own as an artist with the First Edition, only to have the band's breakup in the 1970s raise questions about his musical future. Yet, as Kenny explains, it was precisely this soul-searching that led him to a new direction on his own in Nashville. Telling the stories that have become legends in a town that's seen many of them, he recalls the making of his career in country music and his most memorable songs, including "Lucille," "The Gambler," "Lady," and "Islands in the Stream." Along the way, he shares the friendships, both big and small, that have meant the most to him, describing the good times he's had with Dottie West, Lionel Richie, and, of course, Dolly Parton, and how through it all he continues to make music with the passion that has defined him from the start.

Staring across the decades, Kenny writes a story seemingly straight from one of his songs. The end result is a rollicking ride through fifty years of music history, which offers a heartwarming testament to a time when country music wasn't just a brand but a way of life.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr; First Edition edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062071815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062071811
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kenny Rogers is one of the bestselling artists of all time with more than 120 million albums sold worldwide. He has endeared himself to music lovers around the world with hit songs like "Lady," "The Gambler," "Islands in the Stream," and "Love or Something Like It." He is a three-time Grammy Award winner, and has won eighteen American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music Awards, and five Country Music Association Awards.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Known for hit songs like "Lucille", "The Gambler", "Coward of the County" and his huge crossver song "Islands in the Stream" with Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers has finally written his memoirs. Leading a fascinating and oftern turbulent life with many marriages behind him, "Luck or Something Like It: A Memoir" (a take on his song "Love or Something Like It") chronicles the highs and lows in Kenny's 70-plus year life.

He writes about growing up in Texas, having a dream for being a singer, his collaboration with "The First Edition" and his ultimate solo success beginning in 1977 that lead him to numerous hit singles, Grammy awards and the recognition as being one of the top-selling singers in the world. He writes about his long association with Ken Kragen, his manager, and his friendship duet successes with Dottie West who died in 1991 from a car accident. He also details his working relationships with Lionel Richie, Sheena Easton, Ronnie Milsap and most importantly his love and respect for Dolly Parton, a friendship that lasts to this very day and how having one hit song together made them the greatest duet in the history of country music.

Kenny doesn't shy away from his personal life either. He recounts his numerous marriages, his children and writes fondly of his current wife Wanda and their twin boys.

One part of the book Kenny discusses is his long-time marriage to Marianne, a woman he had a son with named Chistopher and how his infidelity cost him his marriage and nearly half his fortune estimated to be in the millions.

An A+ read, you will love this memoir especially if your a fan of the great Kenny Rogers.
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Format: Hardcover
Review first published on Blogcritics - Everyone knows it takes both talent and luck to ascend the top of tier of country music stardom. The "something like it" addressed in Kenny Rogers' new autobiography includes adages, lessons, concepts, experiences and close friends encountered along the way. From a humble childhood upbringing in the projects of Houston,Tx., Rogers credits his mother for such values as optimism, respect, sharing and punctuality, as well as sage advice such as, "Find a job you love...and you'll never work a day in your life." His alcoholic father was good-natured with a sense of humor much like the one Kenny acquired. His dad once encouraged him to grow up having just five close friends to become a wealthy man. His managers, producer, and tennis instructor are among those acknowledged in the book. Perhaps a little more could've been written about Las Vegas businessman Steve Wynn who is mentioned as one of the five. Throughout the book, Rogers occasionally calls upon several friends or acquaintances for short stories in their own words.

Subtitled as a "memoir," Rogers' book offers many personal experiences, anecdotes, successes, failures and even a few secrets. While some of the stories are a little trite, most are both humorous and insightful. We quickly learn that Rogers does truly believe a key tenet that "entertainers - no matter how old they are - should never take themselves too seriously." That kind of carefree, yet still businesslike, attitude comes across quite strongly in 'Luck or Something Like It.' That competent and methodical outlook certainly helped Rogers succeed, and it also helps explain his close friendship with stars like Dolly Parton who once herself stated, "The magic is inside of you. There ain't no crystal ball.
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Format: Hardcover
Luck or Something Like It: A Memoir is the autobiography (rather than a memoir) Kenny Rogers says that, in the course of committing himself to his previously-published books, Kenny resisted offers to write for years.

Rogers' reservations stemmed from his wanting to write an honest account of his life, but realizing that recounting his colorful past failings would revive the tabloid aspect of his celebrity that, as he approaches his 75th birthday, has largely run its course.

Titled after Rogers' hit, Love or Something Like It (which Kenny co-wrote with Steve Glassmeyer), the singer finally acceded to working with a ghostwriter when a book packager provided an exact time commitment for a clock-watching Rogers.

Unfortunately, the book suffers from that assembly line approach.

When the book's first ghostwriter, Patsi Bale Cox died, literary agent Mel Berger, working with Kenny's friend, writer Kelly Junkermann (co-author of Kenny's book, The Toy Shoppe) and editor Lisa Sharkey, "found a guy named Allen Rucker" to complete the book. Reviews of Cox's previous books noted that she was error-prone (Tanya Tucker's autobiography was a prime example) and given to falling short of a ghostwriter's biggest challenge: to write in the "voice" of her/his subject (Loretta Lynn's "voice" is uniquely the singer's own). Rucker's previous work (most demonstrably portions of Gretchen Wilson's autobiography) is notable for Allen's lack of curiosity and/or inability to ask the natural follow-up question.
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