The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has just unveiled a new exhibit featuring one of country’s most renowned figures, Kenny Rogers.
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Rogers was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013. Now he says the museum’s display of memorabilia is like a walk through some of his most cherished memories.
“I think it’s exciting,” he told CMT Hot 20 Countdown . “It’s exciting for me if nothing else because I get a chance to kind of relive my life. When I wrote my memoirs, it was funny ’cause I’d forgotten so many things, but the guys in the band had been with me for 30, 40 years, and they’d say ‘Well, remember when we did this?’ And I’d go, ‘Oh yeah!’ … I walk through here and I see stuff of me with the First Edition and with Dole Pineapple, you know, things that I’ve done, and it brings back a lot of great memories.
“It’s interesting because I don’t live in the past, and I know that sounds silly, but what’s done is done. But it’s fun to go back and kind of re-feel some of the emotions.”
While Rogers admits he’s not one to hang on to personal mementos, the singer says he’s thankful to those around him who have.
“I’m really lucky that Gene Roy and Debbie Cross, who work for me, are pack rats,” he said. “And they had a place in Lexington, Kentucky, that they put all the stuff as we’d come offstage. They would keep all my old wardrobe, and I would sign it and we’d donate it to charity, but [keeping things] is not something that I’ve ever done.
“My wife gets so mad at me ’cause I’ll start to throw something away — ‘Oh, the boys are gonna want that.’ I said, ‘How much can they want for God’s sake? They’re not gonna care, I promise you.'”
As a new member of the Hall of Fame, Rogers says he’s just now beginning to understand the weight of his legacy.
“I think that’s one of the reasons I’m glad it happened now, rather than at the peak of my success,” he said. “To get it now means so much more to me than I think it could’ve. … The thing is, records don’t last forever, but the Hall of Fame does.”
Tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown this Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 16-17) at 11 a.m. ET/PT.