August 15, 2014 - June 14, 2015
Supported by Suntrust.
With driving artistic instinct, a trademark husky voice made for storytelling, polished showmanship and effortless charisma, Kenny Rogers conquered radio, television and film en route to becoming a beloved American icon.
Incorporating awards, costumes, sheet music, memorabilia, and more from Rogers’s personal vault as well as from the collections of frequent collaborators, Kenny Rogers: Through the Years provides a comprehensive tour through Rogers’s acclaimed musical phases and other artistic outlets.
The exhibit features dozens of artifacts including:
- Costume pieces worn and used by Rogers in the five-part Gambler TV movie series, including a fedora and gun belt, a Western-cut jacket, shirt and brocade vest, and a cane with a brass knob
- A Tony Alamo of Nashville denim outfit, embellished with rhinestones and studs, worn by Rogers as the frontman for Kenny Rogers and The First Edition in the 1970s
- Dolly Parton’s rhinestone-embellished velvet jacket and dress, which she wore during a performance of “Islands in the Stream” with Rogers on her TV show, Dolly
- Dottie West’s Bob Mackie outfit with bugle beading and Dolcis pumps, worn in performance with Rogers
- A 1970 program from a week of shows featuring both Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and Merle Haggard and the Strangers at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri
- Sheet music for the Mickey Newbury-penned “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In),” which became the First Edition’s first top 10 hit, and “Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love to Town),” a crossover hit for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition written by Mel Tillis
- A handmade tambourine with Kenny Rogers’s logo burned into the wood, similar to the ones he throws into the crowd at his concerts
- Assorted cameras used by Rogers, including two Polaroid models; a Calument Scientific Inc. 8" x 10" folding camera; and a Linhof Master Technika Classic camera, used by Rogers to capture the fifty-eight studio portraits of country artists in his third book of photos, Kenny Rogers: This Is My Country
- A paperback novel, part of a series of books inspired by Rogers’s iconic portrayal of the “Gambler” in the popular TV movies
- Numerous awards, including the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award; Grammy statuettes; the Academy of Country Music’s Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award; and the Honorary Master of Photography award presented to Rogers by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) at its annual conference; and more.
- Items that reflect Rogers’s longtime status as a pop culture icon, including Die-cast metal replica of the Camaro race car driven by Kenny Rogers in the film Six Pack, a collectible pack of cigarettes featuring Rogers’s name and likeness; and more
- Original LP, 45-RPM picture sleeve and tape boxes for releases by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and Kenny Rogers as a solo artist
Exhibit Supported by:
Kenny Rogers as the Gambler, in the First Edition, and Kenny Rogers the photographer.