The last time we caught up with Rex Allen Jr. he was playing his legendary song “I Love You Arizona.” Now, after 55 years of performing, Allen is about to release his final album.
“It came from the heart, and I think when people listen to itI think that they understand that.”
That’s what Rex Allen Jr. told me about the song during an interview I did with him from his Nashville home in August of 2021.
It’s been the alternate state anthem of Arizona since 1982.
Today, I caught up with Rex Allen Jr. just ahead of the July 1 release of what will be his 30th and final album.
“I just thought it was time to quit. I got tired of carrying a guitar through airports. That gets little old,” says Allen.
His final album is titled “For the Last Time.” Allen tells me it’s a collection of songs from many genres that represent who he is.
“A history of me and the way I think and about music and how much I love music. Not a particular genre of music, whether it be country or western or pop. I like all of it.”
At age 76, Allen also decided to make this his final album after an on-going battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
He’s received get well cards from fans all over the world, but he says the most special ones came from Willcoxthe place he still calls home.
“That kind of love and kindness that’s coming out of Cochise County is something I can’t forget,” says Allen.
The Allen family has strong ties to Willcox. His father, Rex Allen Sr., was an early star of stage and screen.
Known as “The Arizona Cowboy,” Rex Allen Sr. has a star on the walk of fame. In Willcox you’ll find the Rex Allen Museum, and each fall, he’s remembered with Rex Allen days.
Rex Allen Jr. plans to return this October for Rex Allen Days. It’ll be his first time back in Willcox after the release of his final album.
“It completes the circle,” he tells me. “I mean, the first album I hope nobody listens to. The last album I hope you listen to.”
Rex Allen Jr.’s legacylike his father’swill continue to live on in Willcox with ‘Rex Allen Days‘, even if he’s now done releasing albums.