HOLLYWOOD -- Kenny Rogers perpetuates his long and successful career with the release of a romantic new album inspired by the new love of his life. Currently Rogers is anticipating a delayed honeymoon with his fifth wife, Wanda Miller, whom he met when she was a college student. The bearded, silver-haired Rogers is 58. His bride is 30. Two of his children, Carole and Kenny Jr., are older than their stepmother. But then Kenny's new mother-in-law is two years younger than he is. However, there is something perpetually young about the raspy-voiced singer-actor that shows in the twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step. After a four-year courtship Rogers married Miller, who surely inspired his new album, 'Write Your Name Across My Heart,' due for release later this month. There have been peaks and valleys aplenty in Rogers' personal and professional lives but his mutual love affair with the American public is one of the most enduring in show business. When his popularity appears to wane, Rogers pumps out another 'Gambler' TV movie and he's back in the saddle again. A millionaire many times over despite some expensive divorces, Kenny and Wanda were married in a barn. But what a barn. The other day Rogers described the June wedding at his sprawling ranch in Athens, Ga. 'I'd built a huge gazebo out in middle of a beautiful meadow and had it all set up,' he said. 'The setting was sensational, but it rained five straight days.
'The evening before the wedding we held our rehearsal outdoors and the bottom fell out; it started pouring rain. 'The day of the wedding there wasn't a cloud in the sky and Wanda said, 'Please don't have me worrying about the weather.' 'Fortunately, I have a 90,000-square-foot barn on the property -- which includes an indoor basketball court -- and we built a brand new gazebo inside. It was really beautiful. 'At 7 o'clock that evening we were taking our vows and the bottom fell out again. I'm glad she talked me into it. Our 170 guests stayed dry. So did we.' Asked if he exaggerated the size of the barn, Rogers said it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest privately owned barn in the world. 'It's really two acres under roof,' he said. 'There are stalls all around the sides. 'Look, how many people can say they were married in a barn? It adds charm to the story.' After making his home in Los Angeles for many years, Rogers says he prefers living in Georgia. 'L.A. is a great town if you're sitting on top of the world,' he said. 'If you're the hot number that's the place to be. But not if you're struggling. 'I'm much better at saying 'Thank you' than, 'Please.' 'Eighty percent of my concert dates are east of the Mississippi, so it was silly for me to fly back and forth to California all the time. In Georgia I can fly to a concert date and fly back home the same night. 'I'm an hour from Florida and hour and a half from New York, 95 miles from Atlanta. I have my own plane, which makes it easier. The Athens airport is 15 minutes from my house.' Much as he loves his ranch, Rogers is putting it up for sale, including his private 18-hole golf course. 'We're thinking of moving to Atlanta so we can be closer to Wanda's identical twin sister, Tania,' he said. 'Most people can't tell them apart. But I've been around them long enough to see the subtle differences. 'I have more of a personal life in Georgia than I did in California. The separations of my job are really dangerous. Wanda goes everywhere with me. 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder' really doesn't fly. Wanda isn't in show business. 'It's funny, the older you get the more you know what you DON'T want in people. Once you find someone without the qualities you don't want, it makes life easier. 'You're fortunate if you find someone who has a good heart and wants to do the right thing. It all starts with trust. Then you work through all the rest of it. Nobody's perfect, myself included. 'The axiom about two people becoming one just doesn't work. It isn't fair. I don't want to be her and she doesn't want to be me. 'Our differences are what makes our relationship wonderful. You try to meld as close as you can within one concept. 'People shouldn't think they deserve a perfect partner, but hopefully they'll find someone who is willing to try at least as hard as you do. 'I'm believe in making a relationship work. My previous marriage lasted 15 years, and the one before that 12. So you know it's not like I throw these things around, you know.' ---
Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---NEWLN:(release at will)