The Big Wake Up With Don Chase and Sarah

Weekdays 6:00am-10am

In The BIG 957 BIG BUZZ this morning, Sarah set the record straight that Country legend Kenny Rogers

was not on his death bed. Over the weekend, the rumor surfaced that The Gambler was in failing health. Like you,
I often wonder how these stories originate and within minutes, become viral. Yes, Kenny was in the hospital
recovering from nothing more than dehydration. He is 80 after all. Now, when I hear the word dehydrated, it takes
me back to my Mother’s doctor appointment several years ago and the doctor saying that the majority of people over the age of 50 are
likely dehydrated. Dehydration, no biggie. Also, when I hear the name Kenny Rogers, it takes me back to one of
my favorite “inside radio” stories. Several years ago, Kenny asked could he visit the BIG 957 one morning? Of
course, I could not say “yes” fast enough. So, Kenny arrived, made his way into the studio, sat down and relaxed
for an hour. During the interview, it occurred to me, one of the most successful and most loved entertainers ever
is only 3 feet away and speaking on The BIG 957. So cool. Honestly, I still get a little star struck from time to time.
Let me tell you, no one is nicer than Kenny Rogers. I remember back in the early nineties, Kenny played the Crown
Center Arena (formerly the Cumberland County Memorial Auditorium). Eddie Rabbit took the stage first playing to
a sellout crowd. Prior to the concert, The BIG 957 gave away a one-of-a-kind VIP grand prize which included front row seats and
after the concert, backstage passes. Roseboro’s Randy and Shelby Melvin were the lucky winners of the VIP package. What
Randy and Shelby didn’t know was they were going to get the chance to meet the one and only Kenny Rogers. I can still
see the smile on Randy’s face when Kenny walked into the room. Kenny could not have been nicer to everyone who
happened to be in the VIP area that special night. Another quick story takes be back to the BIG 957 visit I mentioned
earlier. Prior to Kenny entering the WKML studio, his Road Manager requested that we not ask for autographs. Why? Much
to my surprise, Kenny was battling Carpal Tunnel Syndrome causing tremendous hand, wrist and arm pain. The Road manager
promised that once the paid eased, he would have Kenny autograph items for the WKML air team. I am still waiting for
those autographs. No prob. As we say in the South, here’s where it gets good. After the interview, Kenny took the elevator down
to our first floor, exiting the rear of the building where his million dollar tour bus was parked. When I looked in the
direction of his bus, I saw 20-30 Kenny Rogers fans standing near the door of the bus. Every fan brought with them an
item to have Kenny autograph. Now, what do you think happened? Did the tour bus driver rush off of the bus pushing fans away
as the star approached? No. Did the Road Manager tell the fans “no autographs” due to the Gambler’s Carpal Tunnel issues? No.
Did Kenny refuse to autograph the items? No. Kenny said to his Road Manager, “it’s okay.” Not only did Kenny sign every
piece of memorabilia, he had his Road Manager get promotional pictures from the bus and Kenny took time to autograph
those as well. This event probably took at least a half hour of Kenny’s time. I was there and can tell you Kenny Rogers
was truly loving the interaction. From there, Kenny traveled to Fort Bragg to spend several hours with our heroes in
uniform. Please join me in saying a special prayer for Kenny and that he will fully recover from hydration and all
other issues he is facing. Thank you for letting me share a few of my favorite memories. Oh, if you run into Randy and
Shelby Melvin of Roseboro, ask them about their Kenny Rogers VIP experience.