During these difficult times, people are experiencing trauma. Whether through personal experiences with the current crisis or being inundated with grim news reports, it’s a trying time for us all. We dutifully stay at home as mandated by authorities and watch the news of the COVID-19 pandemic as it spreads rapidly across the globe. The people in our world – including both our loved ones and people we don’t know – need all the love and support we can give. We do our best to live one day at a time as we reach out to those we love and pray for those we may never know.
Although we are apart, there is one thing that unifies many of us and proves to be a consistent source of solace amid life’s trials and tribulations: music. Music has always been and continues to be a salve for my soul during the good times and the bad. In Chicago, I consistently attended The Lyric Opera and even drove from Wisconsin to Chicago to take advantage of my Lyric Opera season tickets.
However, as many of you know, I am a born and bred Texan. Although I have lived in Highland Park and River Forest, Illinois, and Stoughton, Wisconsin, perhaps there is truth to the old saying, “You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can’t take the Texas out of the girl.” I’ve taken music with me wherever I go, especially country western music on all my life adventures. That is why I was struck with sadness this morning when I opened my computer and read that Kenny Rogers, one of my favorite country-western stars, passed away on March 20 at the age of 81.
For many years, his music has been part of the soundtrack to my life, and I have so many memories of his music accompanying me in joyful moments and comforting me in times of strife and difficulty. One of my all-time favorites is his song “Islands in the Stream,” and it continues to be my go-to song when I need a little sunshine in my day. Fans like me will have his music to rely on for the rest of our lives, but his passing has left a void in the world. The sadness I feel knowing that he is no longer with us highlights just how important his music is to me, and to so many others as well.
At this difficult time, his family released his last song, “Goodbye” (see the YouTube link to the song below) and has asked for fans to contribute donations to coronavirus relief efforts. Although Kenny’s passing was unrelated to COVID-19, his family is dedicated to helping the people affected by this terrible crisis through his musical legacy. Their efforts are a testament that music reaches people in a myriad of ways during good times and bad, and that the value of music goes beyond beautiful melodies and memorable lyrics.
Rest in peace Kenny Rogers. God Bless us all in these difficult times.
What songs or artists have been important to you throughout your life, and how have they helped you find comfort?
Click on the Kenny Rogers post below to hear Goodbye.
© 2020 Tyra Manning