Kenny Rogers Rarity 'Goodbye' Resurfaces After His Death

Credit: mpi34/MediaPunch /IPX

"Goodbye," a previously released rarity from Kenny Rogers' back catalog, went out to country radio a week after the Country Music Hall of Fame inductee's passing. Its accompanying note read: "those closest to Kenny wanted to make this track available to all of his fans."

The song, which addresses the loss of a loved one, came from the pen of one of Rogers' closest friends in all of popular music, Lionel Richie.

"He really says goodbye in that song," Universal Music Group Nashville CEO Mike Dungan told Billboard. "I don't know what was going on in his head when he cut it."

The Richie-Rogers connection also brought us one of the latter's best-known sentimental songs, the 1980 super hit "Lady." In addition, Richie produced Rogers' 1981 album Share Your Love, which featured the Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer co-write "Through the Years."

"Goodbye" (not to be confused with "Goodbye Marie") was previously released in 2009 as one of three brand new songs off Time Life's 45-track compilation Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years.

Rogers cut the song with producer Tony Brown sometime after the release of the 2006 album Water & Bridges.

Read More: Aliens Beam Kenny Rogers to 'Planet Texas'

Rogers passed away on March 20 at the age of 81. He left behind a catalog of both country classics ("The Gambler," "Lucille," "Coward of the County") and pop hits from the '80's and beyond ("You Decorated My Life" and the Dolly Parton duets "Islands in the Stream" and "You Can't Make Old Friends").

"Goodbye" Lyrics

I wanted you for life
You and me
In the wind

I never thought there come a time
That our story would end
It's hard to understand
But I guess I'll have to try

It's not easy
To say goodbye
For all the joy we shared
All that time we had to spend

Now if I had one wish
I'd want forever back again
To look into your eyes
And hold you when you cry

It's not easy
To say goodbye
I remember all those great times we had
So many memories, some good some bad

Yes and through it all
Those memories will last

There's peace in where you are
May be all I need to know
And if I listen to my heart
I'll hear your laughter once more

And so I have to say
I'm just glad you came my way
It's not easy to say

Now Watch: Remembering Kenny Rogers' Hits Through The Years

recommended for you

Kenny Rogers Rarity 'Goodbye' Resurfaces After His Death