Sorry I didn't get back with you, but my neighborhood experienced an internet outage last night.
Were you using the cord that came with the Kindle (ha ha, like one can keep track these days - if you're like most people you have too many to bother keeping the same cord with the same device it came with, if it came with a device at all)?
It's possible the cord(s) that didn't work were only designed to charge, not for data transfer.
Or the Kindle may have initially been connected as charge only and it wasn't till that last cord (which may have automatically done so) that the setting changed to include data transfer with the connection.
Or, yes, cords can go bad or be defective.
Glad to hear you got it working, though.
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I'm being extremely clever up here and there's no one standing around looking impressed. What's the point in having you all? - Dr Who