Exclusive: Kenny G reminisces about the great sports films, coming home to Ohio, and ‘reality check’ documentary

During the 2000s, Kenny G became the musician, behind bluegrass-loving but mainstream crossover melodies, best known to us as a seven-time Grammy winner. He also earned well-deserved raves for his contributions to the great American films Field of Dreams and Coach Carter.

Now the musician, whose real name is Kenny Peterson, has released an intimate, personal doc about his life called Kenny G’s Reality Check— and it’s coming to us from the Oscar-winning director of a documentary about the dog race scandal and the beauty of the classic 1939 film Days of Wine and Roses, Charlie McDowell.

The film covers the musician’s life from his humble childhood in Ohio to his achievements in the music industry. He tells the inspiring and humorous story of how he morphed from a shy teenager into one of country music’s top stars in a decade that was marked by America’s age of music.

“We went through some dark times at one point. We really were challenged. I always say if it weren’t for my mom, no matter what I did, none of that would have happened,” Peterson told Fox News. “My career was shot. There’s always a one in a billion chance. You’re never going to know it until you get there. You just got to stay focused. Your mom and dad have to stay in the street and keep pulling you through.”

He continues: “With the critics, I’ve always found that most of them are like a 15-year-old boy, and sometimes he still gets it in. There’s always going to be some anxiety there because that’s what everyone wants. He wants the approval. The critics are like 25-year-old boys, so some of them still can’t quite get it. So when I was getting pressure from them about, ‘You know you haven’t made it yet. If you win the Grammy and you have a Billboard top 40 single, you haven’t made it yet.’ They had to tell me. But I tried to know my purpose, I tried to know what I was doing with it, I tried to find a purpose, and in the end I got it, because I feel like after a while I saw the light at the end of the tunnel.”

In the short clip above, Kenny G returns to his hometown of Merrick, Ohio, to recall the first time he played his first show at Ohio Stadium when he was barely five years old— and, of course, to reflect on the experience of watching his album hit the top of the Billboard country charts. The hometown concert was just one in a long line of memorable and overwhelming moments from this iconic musician that captured our hearts.

He also delves into more of his life including the period he spent in Tucson, Arizona, after separating from his wife to join a paterfamilias band who were in full-blown rehab.

It’s time for a “reality check” for this inspiring musician.

Leave a Comment