Kenny Rogers on Working With George Martin: 'Highlight of My Career' - Rolling Stone
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Kenny Rogers on Working With George Martin: ‘The Highlight of My Career’

Late Beatles producer oversaw Rogers’ 1985 ‘The Heart of the Matter’ album

George Martin; Kenny RodgersGeorge Martin; Kenny Rodgers

Kenny Rogers in 1985: Beatles producer George Martin oversaw Rogers' 'The Heart of the Matter' album, released that year.

Eamonn McCabe/Getty, Paul Natkin/Getty

In 1985, Kenny Rogers released his 13th studio album The Heart of the Matter, a record overseen by legendary Beatles producer George Martin. Martin, who produced such essential LPs as Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, died Tuesday, March 8th, at age 90.

Today, Rogers, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, remembered collaborating with Martin, even questioning why the studio visionary would pair up with a humble pop-country singer.

“Sir George Martin was a wonderful, incredibly gifted person. I don’t know why he ever bothered to do an album with me, but I was thrilled and touched that he did, and I loved working with him,” said Rogers in a statement. “It may be the highlight of my personal career. He brought a whole different touch to my life and my perspective on music. I’m only one of millions who will miss him greatly.”

The Heart of the Matter, which was Rogers’ last release to top Billboard‘s Country Albums chart, bathed the smooth-voiced singer in elaborate production. More easy-listening pop than country, the record finds Rogers in a “yacht rock” phase, diving headfirst into unapologetic love songs like “Morning Desire” and the narrative “Tomb of the Unknown Love,” both of which hit Number One.

Along with Rogers, Martin also veered toward country and soft-rock with albums for the group America. Among others, he produced the band’s 1975 Hearts LP, which included the Number One single “Sister Golden Hair.”

In This Article: George Martin, Kenny Rogers


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