I recently interviewed legendary country/pop singer Kenny Rogers about … photography. Rogers is an accomplished fine-art photographer, with three books published. His black-and-white landscapes lean heavily on the inspiration of the legendary American photographer Ansel Adams. That’s no surprise given Rogers’ early days in photography were guided by John Sexton, an American fine art photographer who specializes in black and white images and who worked as an assistant and technical consultant to Adams in the early 1980s.
Rogers’ photographs are primarily landscapes or portraits, and he has published three books, including two books of portraits. The first, Kenny Rogers’ America, was published in 1986. His second book, Your Friends and Mine, arrived in 1987 and featured 8×10 portraits of Hollywood celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, who graced the cover.
His third photo book, the oversized coffee-table book This Is My Country, published in 2005, featured black-and-white portraits of such country music stars as Faith Hill, Reba McEntire, Jo Dee Messina, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Alan Jackson, Dolly Parton, Roy Acuff, Lee Ann Womack, Billy Dean, Tammy Wynette, Linda Davis and Brad Paisley. Rogers made many portraits for that book while simultaneously hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards broadcast – he set up his camera and studio lights backstage, and he would shoot artists’ portraits between his on-stage/on-camera moments.
Rogers says his next book of photography will feature his landscapes. Below is one of them, an image Rogers calls “The Thumb.”
You can read my story and see more of Rogers’ amazing images, at the website of Sports & Entertainment Nashville.