A new Kenny Rogers album filled with previously unreleased gems and rare tracks, Life Is Like A Song, will be released June 2 via UMe.
Curated and executive produced by the late Country Music Hall of Famer’s widow, Wanda Rogers, the collection features eight never-before-heard recordings from 2008-2011, including interpretations of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and Lionel Richie’s “Goodbye,” as well as a duet with Dolly Parton, “Tell Me That You Love Me.” A digital deluxe edition includes two bonus tracks—a cover of the Etta James standard, “At Last,” and the Buddy Hyatt-penned original, “Say Hello to Heaven.”
Beginning today, fans can stream two selections from the album, including opener “Love Is A Drug” a hard-driving, country rock anthem co-written by Rogers’ longtime musical partner and former New Christy Minstrels bandmate, Kim Carnes, and the Motown classic, “I Wish It Would Rain,” originally made a hit by The Temptations.
Also on the album is “Catchin’ Grasshoppers,” a personal ode to Rogers’ twin sons with Wanda Rogers, Justin and Jordan, that finds Rogers reveling in the quiet, precious memories made with his young children, now aged 18. In a similar vein, “Straight Into Love,” a duet with Jamie O’Neal, speaks to cherishing time together with the one you love.
The Parton collab, “Tell Me That You Love Me,” originally appeared on a 2009 compilation helmed by veteran producer and record exec Tony Brown. Long out-of-print, a never-before-released, remixed version of the rarity will now be available on digital platforms and vinyl for the very first time, as well as on CD for the first time in this form.
Those sessions with Brown also spawned Rogers’ rendition of “Goodbye,” written by good friend and frequent collaborator, Lionel Richie. The song has long been a fan favorite after first appearing on the same 2009 anthology, and a touching lyric video for the song was played at Rogers’ memorial in 2022.
“Am I Too Late,” written by Larry Keith and Jim Hurt, is one of Rogers’ self-proclaimed favorite songs of all time. Originally cut for Rogers’ 1977 hit album, Daytime Friends, the song is reimagined here as a duet with vocalist Kim Keyes.
“I think the record is fabulous, and it is going to make Kenny so proud,” shares Wanda Rogers. “These songs are such a beautiful reminder of his love ‘for the feelings a song can make’ for a person. He would often say that he wanted his songs to be ‘what every man wants to say, and every woman wants to hear.’ I think there are a lot of those moments on this album. This is a very special record to me and our family because it really tells the story of our life together, and I feel his fans will also relate to it in a big way because it walks the listener through the seasons of life that we all experience in one way or another. There is joy, there is love, there is family, there is uncertainty, there is pain, there is faith… it’s emotional and real. This is the kind of music Kenny loved to make.”
Life Is Like a Song Track List:
1. Love Is A Drug
2. I Wish It Would Rain
3. Am I Too Late (with Kim Keyes)
4. Tell Me That You Love Me (with Dolly Parton)
5. Straight Into Love (with Jamie O’Neal)
6. Wonderful Tonight
7. Catchin’ Grasshoppers
8. That’s Love To Me
9. I Will Wait For You