"IRS" Mike Rotunda


Growing up in and around the music industry Allen knew all too well the pressure and temptations it brought on a person’s life. Seeing first hand his oldest brother, the iconic  “Lefty Frizzell” who was larger than life,  die at the age of 47 living in  that kind of lifestyle. Allen found himself going down that same road on a super busy tour filled with drugs and alcohol that lasted almost two years straight. He worked  two shows the day he was told his mother had passed away, and with Allen being the baby of the family and definitely a mama’s boy it hit him hard, but there was no time for grief “the show must go on.” Soon after that Allen seemed to sink deep into a dark depression and began to drink even more. Then came his highly publicized divorce and custody battle over his daughter Tess Marie. But there was some good news in the middle of all the bad; Allen was signed to Sony Records, the same label that Lefty had spent 25 years with. Needless to say, that created a whole new party while at home in Nashville TN. Allen had his own little entourage and they were out on the town in Music City almost every night and often well into the next day. Everybody was his “friend” having a high time but as soon as the party was over Allen found himself very lonely and depressed. He was searching all the wrong people and places looking for the peace he had once known as a young teenager back before music, success, drugs and alcohol, along with the demands, stress and pressure of that profession took over his life. But most of all was the hole in his heart from the sadness he felt from losing his mom and his family all within a year’s time. 

All the stress brought on a health condition called Bel’s Palsy which paralyzed one side of his face. Allen began to stay in his room in complete darkness for days at a time thinking about ending it all. And, sad to say at one point he attempted to do so! But clearly the Lord had His hand on Allen. He knew the Lord had heard his desperate prayer and wrapped His loving arms around him and pulled him up from the very bottom.  “I kind of felt like the prodigal son. All along, my Father was there with open arms waiting for me to come back. He never left me but I had left Him! I thank Him for not giving up on me back then and for the changes He has made in my life. I fail Him daily but I will never stop trying to do better. Day after day He restored my life.  I had the honor of playing and singing for Him at my home church for more than 16 years. During those years several people asked me why I hadn’t recorded an album of my gospel songs.”  But I felt like that was stepping up to holy ground. I didn’t feel worthy because of sins in my life before and after I’d become a Christian. There’s probably not a commandant I haven’t  broken at one time or another and there are a lot more than just the ten. Who was I to represent the Lord?   A couple years later in 1985 I met my wife of 36 years Gayle. I am so thankful for our  family and for each day  the lord gives  me to share the gospel traveling across the USA each year since 2007.  I am happier than I have ever been and just to think at one time while on my journey through this life I tried to end it all by listening to the lies of satan. It’s truly an honor to share my testimony and the music for His honor and glory!”