Beloved Publicist Jayne Rogovin Passes

Jayne and her horse Diva. Photo: Gina Binkley

Veteran Nashville publicist Jayne Rogovin passed away last night (2/13) from incurable breast cancer.

For eight years she ran her successful Jayne Gang PR, with most recent clients including The Americana Music Association, Sunset Grill, Cabana Restaurant, Midtown Cafe and Manuel Exclusive Clothier. A devoted publicist, she was working even in recent weeks, as her condition worsened. Friends say the decline in her health was sudden.

Proof of her courageous spirit and drive, she proclaimed in a recent interview, “I’m living, not battling.”

Best friend Kay West helped Rogovin keep on living, acting as a point person for others who wanted to help. “I met Jayne when Steve West asked her to direct the first Nashville Music Awards aka The NAMMIES 17 years ago and I wrote the script,” recalls West. “We have been dear friends since. Jayne was fearless, adventurous, insatiably curious, always learning, generous, devoted to her friends and clients and a damned fine horsewoman and dancer. She lit up a room and touched countless lives. I will miss her terribly.”

Longtime friend Kay Clary agrees, “Jayne was bursting with life and seriously had the widest circle of close friends of anyone I’ve ever known! She had an hilariously quick wit, the tenderest of hearts, and sharpest of minds. Yes, she did impassioned work as a PR and marketing exec, but she’ll be remembered most by so many as a vibrant and true friend.”

Rogovin’s more than twenty-year career included time as Pecos Films Director/Producer, as well as work in media, marketing and creative services.

The New York native graduated from the University of Florida and went into broadcast journalism. Later, after a two-month stint with a TV crew covering the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas, she decided a career change was in order. She eventually landed in Nashville, and became a much-loved, hard-working member of the music community. She was passionate about horses, and indulged her caring nature with gardening, and her feisty side with salsa dancing.

Friends rallied around Rogovin during her illness, organizing the Kick the Crap Outta Cancer benefit in her honor. Held April 5, 2011 at Cabana, the event attracted performers including Raul Malo, Jim Lauderdale, Steve Cropper, and Foster & Lloyd, and raised about $30,000.

She was as devoted to the community as it was to her, working with charitable causes including UPAW (United Partnership for Animal Welfare), and Billy’s Wish Foundation, which helps children with cancer.

Ronna Rubin saw her friend as an inspiration. She says, “In good health and in bad, Jayne inspired me. I will always remember Jayne’s passion; her passion for life, for her friends, for our creative community. Those artists, songwriters and singers lucky enough to have had her as their cheerleader were gifted with a rare combination of vision and devotion.”

In recent months Rogovin continued her longtime work with the Americana Music Association, including at its September Festival and Conference. She was one of the most devoted and earliest supporters of the organization and the genre it represents. According to her blog, she also enjoyed traveling to see family in the months before her passing.

Read more about Rogovin’s history here and her recent interview here.

Arrangements have not been announced.

Americana Music Association Executive Director Jed Hilly shared this moving letter today.

Dear Jaynie,

Your friendship was unconditional. Your love was unconditional. Your professionalism unsurpassed. I am so grateful for the gifts you shared.

You never once let me down. You not being here today is unimaginable and I am figuring out how to deal with this… It’s tough. Happened too fast.

I have no doubt you would have already pulled into my driveway by now to listen and comfort me, and to advise me on how to deal with this situation. You would likely be telling me that I have to grieve, and then you would, at the right time, tell me I needed to stand up, pull it together and leave the house. You’d tell me I needed a statement. It’s making me laugh and cry.

How lucky we all have been to be your friend. You gave us such confidence. Your belief in greatness and kindness in all of us is one I cherish.

I love you and miss you so much Jayne Rogovin. Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart.

Friends rallied aroud Jayne Rogovin at the Kick The Crap Outta Cancer benefit. (L-R): Steve Cropper, Jonell Mosser, Jayne Rogovin, Harry Stinson and Beth Hooker. Photo: Alan Mayor

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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