Remembering Kenny Rogers

Kei Quinal

Reading — Advanced Level
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Read the text and answer the questions

From the fatalistic blues of The Gambler to the mournful lament of Lucille, Kenny Rogers sang songs full of emotion, courage, drama and heartache. Although his cautionary Americana fables didn’t always have a happy ending, the raspy-voiced musician delivered them with more warmth than a shot of bourbon around a campfire, somehow ensuring that you always ended up smiling.

But the celebrated country singer, who has died of natural causes at the age of 81, wasn’t just great at telling stories through song. He also used photography, releasing several books, and receiving an honorary degree from the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). “He’s obviously well-known as an entertainer,” said PPA president Ralph Romaguera when giving Rogers his award in 2014, “but he truly is a remarkably talented photographer, too.”

Covering landscapes and portraits, Rogers’ images shift between giddily capturing the larger-than-life personas of such friends as Ray Charles and Dolly Parton, to documenting the natural beauty of America’s vast countryside. He could make familiar sights look like a fairytale: his glowing night time shot of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, proudly uploaded to his Facebook page in 2017, makes the 16th US president look more like a mystical levitating god than a statue for tourists to mill around.

Last June, Rogers posted one of his photos to Instagram, something he did regularly in his later years. Taken while on tour, it deals with all the things the country singer seemed to be most fond of: epic mountaintops, gorgeous if slightly eerie moonlight, and trees that stand like gods. It’s easy to imagine a silver-haired Rogers, probably in a cowboy hat, smiling behind the camera, just taking it all in.
  1. Which among the following themes usually occur in Kenny Rogers' songs?

  2. Kenny Rogers studied photography under the tutelage of photographers from PPA.

  3. The singer-songwriter was originally fond of capturing which of the following subjects?

  4. What makes Kenny Rogers a 'remarkably talented photographer?"

  5. Which among the statements below provides the gist for the entire article?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. What is your favorite song by Kenny Rogers?

  2. What made that song your favorite?

  3. Kenny Rogers was good at two things- Music and Photography. What two things are you also good at and passionate about?

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