Fans have chance to honor late blues singer Robin Rogers

Fans have chance to honor late blues singer Robin Rogers
January 25, 2011
Wade Allen
Gaston Gazette

Fans of the late blues vocalist Robin Rogers have an opportunity to help immortalize her career forever – and her husband says he’s ready to do his part.

Members of the Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tenn., are eligible to vote for Rogers as 2011 Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year.

Anyone can join and annual dues are free for 14-20-year olds. The dues for other ages start at $25, depending on how much you want to contribute. Members are able to vote online at

The award will be presented May 5 at the Blues Music Awards held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis.

Blues singers Candye Kane, Janiva Magness, Karen Lovely and Shemekia Copeland are also vying for Female Artist of the Year.

Robin lived in Dallas with her husband, Tony. She died of cancer on Dec. 17, 2010 and Tony has special plans if Robin wins the award posthumously.

“If she wins, I’ve decided I had to start working on getting a very special headstone,” Rogers said. “If she wins, I’m going to put the name of the award on it and the Blues Foundation logo. She’d like that.”

Robin is buried at Hardin Baptist Church cemetery in Dallas.

Tony said his wife knew about the award nomination when she passed away and specifically requested him to accept the award in person if she won.

“She asked me to go to Memphis,” he said. “She had a really, really bad day with the most pain she ever experienced. She smiled at me and asked me to go pick it up for her.”

He was notified by e-mail of his wife’s award nomination and when he first told her, she just pondered it.

“She didn’t have a real big reaction at that moment. She had been going through some pain and having a pretty rough time,” Rogers said.

He said Robin was on her deathbed when she heard of the nomination and died the following day.

“I was trying to cheer her up,” Rogers said. “She knew she didn’t have long.”

Rogers said his wife was a loving person who enjoyed touring, performing, and meeting people after her shows.

“She loved people more than anyone I’ve ever met in my life,” he said.

Her family received dozens of cards and letters from adoring fans worldwide when they learned of her illness, according to Rogers. He said her influences were all the female soul and blues greats.

“When she got into blues, she did a lot of research and listened to a lot of Bessie Smith,” Rogers said. “She grew up in the 60s so probably her biggest influence when she first started singing as a child was soul music – and all the Motown stuff.”

Rogers said his late wife was a fan of everyone from country music greats to rock ‘n’ roll icons.

Robin had cirrhosis and was prepared to wait for a liver transplant in August 2010. When doctors performed a scan of the area surrounding her liver, they found an inoperable tumor, according to Rogers.

“She was in there (hospital) two weeks,” he said. “The only thing they (physicians) did was they gave her an oral chemotherapy and said it may reduce the tumor.”

Rogers said his wife took the treatments for two months “and it didn’t work at all.” They stopped the treatment because it wasn’t helping her condition, he said.

“We thought she would feel better but she was gone in a week,” Rogers said.
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