The tunes were catchy, but there was something going on under the surface.
He said, "People would listen to the songs, love the songs and then go, 'Oh my God, the song is about rape.'"
Rogers said the new record follows similar veins but will sound different than what people might expect. The record is only about half-finished, and so far, no release date has been set.
Rogers said he's happy to still have a music career, but he doesn't miss his acting career much.
"I didn't want to get into it in the first place," he groaned.
Through the '80s and '90s, he starred in several TV movies based on his hit song, "The Gambler," and did a little television here and there. Rogers said he mostly just played himself.
"There are actors, and there are people who can act," he said. "I'm not an actor, but if you give me believable dialogue, I can keep it believable. Actors, you can give them unbelievable dialogue and they can make it believable. I can't do that."
However, Rogers remembered his 1982 film "Six Pack" favorably and said he recently thought about putting the movie on for his two 9-year-old sons to watch.
"And then I realized there's a little kid who says, 'No s--- Sherlock' every 30 minutes or so."
The singer thought maybe 9 is a still little too young for that.
Fatherhood is important to Rogers, though at 74, he looks at the job differently than he might have as a younger man. When he's home in Atlanta, he gets up at 6:30 a.m. to take his boys to school. He brings them out to shows that are reasonably close to the city, like concerts in Florida, Georgia or Alabama.
During his regular Christmas tours, Rogers has them along for the first couple of dates, lets them come out on stage, sing and even talk to the people in the front row.
"I'm hoping we're creating some good memories for them because we certainly are for me."
They aren't quite ready to go pro, he acknowledged, but Rogers loves that they sing.
"The first song they learned was a song I wrote called 'Love or Something Like It," he said. "They were 4 and singing things like, 'Show me a bar with a good looking woman...'"
Rogers laughed, "I was like, no, no, we've got to find something else."
And they have, but Rogers is awfully proud that his boys know his music.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.