Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow

Rogers returns ‘Home for the Holidays’


James Rogers didn’t set out to write a bunch of songs that would be adopted as either official works for organizati­ons, like the National Guard, or his hometown of Fort Oglethorpe. In fact, when asked to name how many such numbers he’s written, he is surprised at the idea.

“Gosh, I’ve never really thought about it, but there are several,” he said.

“My Hometown” is the latest. It debuted during the dedication of the Honor Park: A Tribute to Those Who Serve in Fort Oglethorpe on Nov. 9. It was adopted as the city’s official song on Dec. 9 by the City Council.

Prior to that, he wrote “Fly Eagle Fly,” which was adopted by the United States, the state of Tennessee and others as an official song during the Bicentenni­al celebratio­n in 1976. It was named an official state song by Tennessee in 1983.

“I Guard America” was adopted by the National Guard, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles uses “Where Eagles Fly” as its official song.

“I went to this meeting hall that was like a little bar in Skagway, Alaska, and they had it on their jukebox,” Rogers laughs. “That was pretty cool.”

“Save the Eagle” was written for the American Eagle Foundation. He has also written songs for Riverbend and the Alzheimer’s Associatio­n.

He will perform many of these, plus an entire set of holiday favorites, tonight as part of his annual “Home for the

Holidays” concert.

The first half is when we sort of catch up with each other on the past year, and then we do holiday music. I rerecorded ‘I Guard America’ with the Voices of Lee this year also; they won’t be there, but I will sing along to the recording. It’s a cappella. They are so good.”

John Stokes with Birds of Prey at Rock City will again bring one of the eagles as well.

Rogers spent many years performing at Dollywood

and in Pigeon Forge before retiring a few years ago, but said he finds himself almost as busy today as he was when he was working full-time.

“I didn’t plan to be this busy, but people keep asking and I love to do it.”

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