I am very sad to report that county music superstar Kenny Rogers died Friday night of natural causes at 81. Our prayers and condolences to his wife Wanda and his children and family members. Out of concern over the pandemic, they're planning a private funeral, with a public memorial service to come at a later date.
As I told Kenny once during an interview, it would be easier to list the honors he hadn’t received than all the ones he had. Kenny Rogers sold over 165 million records worldwide and was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame; winner of three Grammys, six CMA Awards and the CMA’s Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award; and creator of 65 albums and over 120 hit singles in various genres, including 24 #1 hits. I’d list a few, but I’m sure you already know all of them. Two of his albums, “Kenny” and “The Gambler,” made About.com’s list of the 200 most influential country albums of all time, and “The Gambler” spawned a series of popular TV movies that led him into a sideline acting career.
Back in 2017, Kenny announced his retirement and was honored with an all-star farewell concert in Nashville, featuring his final live duet performance with his longtime friend and musical partner, Dolly Parton. He was then kind enough to sit down and give me an interview about his amazing life and career for “Huckabee” on TBN. Here is that video, as a reminder of how much wonderful music he gave to the world, and why he was one of the most loved – and most liked – people in all of show business.
Necessary response to reader comment
By Mike Huckabee
The Gov. felt compelled to answer this letter from Tavane:
Governor, I was with you right up until you said "Goodness knows, that’s a more productive use of funds than just passing out money to everyone." Though it may not make a difference to you, I know many, many families who are in dire straights right now because, like many Americans, they live from paycheck to paycheck and have no reserve funds set aside to buy extras to get them through the shutdown of this country. If they do have a 401k or other savings/retirement accounts you can't just get money out of them when you want to as they have special governing rules to them highly inaccessible and also bear steep penalties if withdrawals are made. These citizens also have children who are not going to school now and they also have jobs that need them there so now have to pay for daycare of some sort so they can keep their jobs. I usually find your comments uplifting but to negate the fact that American's need financial help right now to make it through is very negative and unworthy of a man of your stature.
From the Gov:
Good heavens, Tavane, I never said or even meant to imply that the government shouldn’t offer financial assistance to people who are hurting. I said “JUST passing out money to everyone.” People in many industries are devastated right now and need help. To cite just one example, my staff and I know many in the music business (most of whom struggle to stay afloat during normal conditions) who have lost ALL their work for the foreseeable future and are at a complete loss as to what to do and how to survive. I share all of your concerns. You are right about all of this --- except the part where you say I “negate” the fact that people need help.
What I was saying is that we have to find a medical solution to this because we can’t JUST pass out money forever. That alone is a terrible long-term plan, because if we just print billions and even trillions of dollars while everyone stays home indefinitely, we surely will end up like Venezuela. But, yes, of course, we must help Americans who are hurting right now.
Still, we have to find a cure and/or a vaccine that will allow us to get back to work --- and to stay at work with no threat of a "second wave." The longer that takes, the bigger the pit we'll have to dig out of. In the meantime, though, we certainly have to help each other get through this and come out the other side.
I wanted to make sure you also read these comments:
I’m not going to report every claim or study related to the COVID-19 coronavirus, since you can find that everywhere and anywhere, 24/7. But this one may be important enough to mention. It’s possible that even though the worst symptoms are respiratory, the very first may be digestive issues such as diarrhea. That’s good to know for catching it early, but it’s also worth a reminder that just because you have digestive issues, that doesn’t mean you have the virus. But if you do suddenly feel as if you might actually need that garage full of toilet paper you bought, then definitely check with a doctor for testing, to be on the safe side.
I suppose it shouldn’t even be considered news that someone who works at a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic has no respect for other people’s lives, but this is at least a new way of showing it.
It’s said that it’s an ill wind that blows no good, meaning that in every terrible turn of events, someone benefits. In the case of the coronavirus scare, many people may be out of work or stuck working at home, but retailers who have to deal with panic shopping, stockpiling and massive increases in delivery calls are hiring. Just three of them -- Walmart, Dollar Tree and 7-11 -- are looking to hire a total of 200,000 temporary workers, which should help some of the people put out of business in the restaurant, bar and service industry. Walmart is also giving bonuses to its current workers who are dealing with the crisis, and they say many of the new temp workers may become permanent employees. Meanwhile, Domino’s Pizza is looking to hire 10,000 workers, and Amazon is hiring 100,000.
And here’s something I’ll bet you never thought you’d hear, and it would be great news under happier circumstances: Drive-in movies are suddenly the hottest entertainment venue in America. The icons of the 1950s have nearly been driven to extinction by suburban sprawl, but the ones that remain are suddenly the only place in the nation where families can get out of the house and see a movie on a big screen. Some report that attendance has leaped by 40%. To help combat the coronavirus, they’re instituting new safety measures, such as limiting lines at the concession stands.
Let’s hope that once the current pandemic passes, people will have rediscovered the fun of a Friday or Saturday night at the drive-in and keep coming back. In the meantime, if you’re going to be spending that much time in your car, here are some tips on how to disinfect its interior to make sure there are no viruses lurking on your steering wheel, dashboard or door handles. Sorry, if you’ve been to the drive-in, tips on getting mustard and nacho cheese out of the seats are not included.
Bible Verse of the Day (KJV)
"Let not mercy and truth forsake thee:
bind them about thy neck;
write them upon the table of thine heart:
So shalt thou find favour and good understanding
in the sight of God and man."
- Proverbs 3:3-4
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