Darren Rogers "I Knew You When"
Darren Rogers. My partner in rhyme lost his battle with cancer October 22, 2023. I am grateful beyond words for our friendship and creative partnership; for the many songs we co-wrote and coproduced which he took to a whole other level with his vocals.
I met Darren in 1999 when I was creating music for the ACME Video Company and helping with video shoots. We were hired to create media for the Kroger Grocery store in Tucker to celebrate the opening of their 100th store in Georgia. There I was in the produce section, prepping some fruit for their Cecil B DeMille “close up” when I heard “the Voice"! A Voice from Heaven! Way in the distance. Somewhere in the store. It possessed me. I placed the fruit back on the display and, as if in a trance; I followed the sound of “the Voice". It led me to the magazine section at the other end of the store where a band was playing; all wearing bowling shirts (I believe they called themselves the Kroger Bowling Night Band. Very kitsch!! Gotta love it!) And there he was! The guy with "the Voice”. Darren Rogers!
I was mesmerized. When the band took a break I ran like a puppy to Darren gushing about how incredible his voice was and that I’d like to work with him in the studio. I needed someone to sing my new demo. We exchanged numbers then booked a date. Darren offered to sing the first song for free just so I can see what he can do.
Ok! So he did!
As soon as those first notes came out of his mouth into my microphone through the mixing board (where I sat with my back to him) and into my headphones; I thought my heart would explode out of my chest! I have never been affected in such a visceral way by any singer. If this intrigues you enough to check out our songs; I can pretty much guarantee that most of you will experience the same as me.
And so began our co-writing, coproducing collaboration.
Our song “Goin Back” about Darren’s relationship with his Stepfather won 1st place at the Grammys for Indie labels (the JPFs) out of 140,000 entries (beating Al Jarreau and Colin Hay from Men at Work!). “I Knew You When” came in 2nd place. (Thank you to Derek Sivers, creator of CDBaby for entering us into the JPFs Awards!)
To honor Darren; here is an excerpt from our song “Hold On”:
“The crimson leaves of autumn
The blush on the rose
Savor every moment, each sweet moment
Til the wind blows
Hold on to the feeling you’ve got
Hold on though it never lasts very long
Hold on. One more moment
And then it’s all gone”
© 1991 Lynn Darren Rogers and Jayne Olderman
My deepest condolences to his wife Sherry for the loss of her SoulMate. Darren often shared with me how Sherry was his Guiding Light and Saving Grace. Sherry, I hope your broken heart heals while it continues to love Darren.
I’ll keep listening, Darren. Rest in peace.
Or fly high “up from the ashes and over that mountain”. With love and gratitude, Jayne