Spotlight On Kenny
KENNY ROGERS ANNOUNCES HIS
RETIREMENT FROM TOURING ON THE TODAY SHOW
Upcoming World Tour Will Be His Last.
For the past 57
years, as sure as the sun would come up in the morning and set in
the evening, there was one thing you could count on - Kenny Rogers
would soon be coming to a venue near you to perform.
However, that time is now drawing to a close. Kenny Rogers
announced on NBC's The Today Show that his next world tour
commencing in 2016 will be his last.
Kenny Rogers on TODAY
Direct Link: http://www.today.com/video/kenny-rogers-my-last-show-will-be-here-on-today-532214851508
Farewell from Kenny https://youtu.be/Ax_KDMVjIQ8
and dates for Rogers' final World Tour will be announced in the
also marks the release his first new Christmas album in seventeen
years titled: Once Again It's Christmas (Warner Bros. / Warner Music
Nashville). The festive set is Rogers' first Christmas release since
1998 and his sixth Christmas release overall.
Dolly Parton's long time friend and duet partner Kenny Rogers
returned to Dollywood this past weekend to help raise money and
awareness for her Imagination Library, a book gifting program for
kids from birth to age five. Just days after announcing his
retirement on the TODAY show, Kenny sang to a sold-out crowd, giving
everyone a night to remember at Dollywood's D.P. Celebrity Theatre.
Fans from around the world made their way to Pigeon Forge for a
chance to see "The Gambler" performing songs from his treasure chest
of mega hits in an intimate setting.
"You know she's an
amazing person. She can take something and really grow it into
something fantastic. Dolly has shipped over 70 million books! I
think it's a great idea," said Kenny Rogers. "I'm glad to be a part
of this and I hope it helps!"
The autumn air of the
Smokies was filled with the sweet sounds of Kenny's hit songs
throughout the park. From "Coward Of The County," "Ruby, Don't Take
Your Love To Town," and "The Gambler," to "Islands In The Stream,"
"Lady," and "You Can't Make Old Friends," the crowd again and again
erupted in thunderous applause.
it was time to count the money, Kenny's performance raised over
$60,000 for Dolly's Imagination Library bringing the total raised
during the benefit concert series to more than
"I'm so grateful to Kenny for wanting to help
my Imagination Library," said Dolly Parton. "He's always been such a
great friend to me and I'm so happy that he made time to come to
Dollywood and I know the fans just loved it. Kenny, if you're
reading this, I want to you to know just how much I appreciate you
and you know I'll always love you!"
More on Kenny:
March 7, 2011 marked another new chapter in the remarkable career
of music legend and American icon, Kenny Rogers. That is the
day his first inspirational gospel album, The Love Of God, became
available exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® locations
nationwide. Featuring 12 uplifting songs sung only the way
Rogers can sing them, the record includes all-new recordings of
classic hymns and gospel and contemporary songs that have touched
him musically and spiritually through the years, dating back to his
childhood growing up in Houston where he regularly attended church
with his family. At the heart of the record is hope and
Rogers, one of music's legendary voices, has
put his indelible stamp on classics like "Will The Circle Be
Unbroken," "I'll Fly Away," "Amazing Grace" and "In The Sweet By And
By" and turned in beautifully poignant performances on more recently
composed songs such as "Peace" (written by Michael McDonald &
Beth Nielsen Chapman), "Grace" (written by Michael W. Smith &
Martin Smith) and "The Rock Of Your Love" (written by Vince Gill, Al
Anderson & Leslie Satcher). Guest artists appearing on the
album include The Whites on "I'll Fly Away," Winfield's Locket on
"In The Sweet By And By" and Point of Grace on "Circle Of
"What an incredible album this has turned out to be," Rogers says
of The Love Of God. "It seems I have a personal relationship
with every song on it. 'In The Sweet By And By' was my mom's
favorite song. When I was a kid, as I was leaving to go to
school, I remember hearing her sing along with that song on the
radio as she did her morning ironing. Music is by far the best
'memory creator' I know, and that memory is very special to me."
Marked by strikingly fresh musical and vocal arrangements, the
warm and inviting album is quite eclectic, yet a common thread
running through each of the songs ties the project neatly
together. From the exhilarating opening track, "Will The
Circle Be Unbroken" - which cleverly intertwines country, R&B,
gospel, bluegrass and choral music, to the sweeping strings and
heartfelt vocal performance on the calming "Peace," to the perfectly
rootsy "I'll Fly Away" (the most authentic bluegrass recording of
Rogers' career), featuring unmistakably genuine harmony vocals by
The Whites, The Love Of God begins with three fascinating musical
statements that set the stage for a stirring collection of
"The trick to doing a good concept record is surrounding yourself
with unique musicians, singers, and creative talent," Rogers
says. "When you hear 'I'll Fly Away,' there is no question
that The Whites are singing. Anything they sing takes on their
own special sound, and it feels perfect for this record."
"The Rock Of Your Love" is delivered in soulful style, and the
easy-flowing "In The Sweet By And By" is sweetened by the angelic
harmonies of Winfield's Locket and the dazzling musicianship of
Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitar and mandolin), Jerry Douglas (dobro),
Viktor Krauss (acoustic bass), Larry Franklin (fiddle) and
Rogers says of 'In The Sweet By And By,' "Listen closely to the
background voices and you'll hear the unique harmonies of country
duo Winfield's Locket. They - like me - have been influenced
by gospel music from a very early age. The sisters have a
sound based on the way they layer their harmonies, the timbre of
their voices, and the way they phrase. I was so glad we could
find a moment to share on this album. This has always been one
of my favorite songs, and if it wasn't before, it is now."
Listeners will also hear Rogers' impassioned Ray Charles-esque
performance on the gospel/R&B-tinged "He Showed Me Love", the
soaring, spine-tingling "Grace," the reflective acoustic-flavored
"What A Friend We Have In Jesus," the breezy reassurance of "Circle
Of Friends" featuring radiant harmony vocals by Point of Grace
(whose original recording of the song hit No. 1 on the Contemporary
Christian Chart), and the anthemic "For The Love Of God."
"Twenty-seven #1 hits on the Contemporary Christian Radio Charts
- that credential speaks volumes about the talent of Point of
Grace," Rogers says. "'Circle Of Friends' was originally a
song they had recorded, and I did the unthinkable and asked them to
join me on my version of their song. I couldn't imagine this
without their influence. They were nice enough to say yes, and
I am so glad they did. If you haven't heard the song yet,
you'll be glad they did as well."
The album fittingly culminates with two
classics - the soothing "Amazing Grace" and the serene "Leaning On
The Everlasting Arms." According to the multiple Grammy
Award-winner, "Amazing Grace" is a song Rogers sang when he was in
his first church choir group as often as they possibly could.
He has said the standard has undoubtedly had an impact on his life
and music, and upon first listen it's evident he has a strong
connection with the popular hymn. Rogers' tender vocal
alongside the dynamic choir and swirling orchestration make for a
beautifully touching rendition. "Leaning On The Everlasting
Arms" is delivered in a refreshingly sincere way - with only Rogers'
emotive vocal and a faint church organ off in the distance - a
surprising, yet perfectly effective way to close the
"The Love of God is the culmination of an idea I had been
thinking about for years but never had the opportunity to bring to
life," Rogers says. "To all of the wonderful musicians,
vocalists, and songwriters who lent their amazing talents to this
record, I want to thank you for making it so special. I am so
grateful to have had the opportunity to do this album. It has
been both a musical and religious awakening for me."
Known for instantly identifiable sweetly raspy vocals and an
extraordinary ability to vividly inhabit each song he performs,
Rogers has sold more than 120 million records worldwide and recorded
more than 65 albums during his storied 52 years in show
business. His long list of timeless classics includes an
impressive 24 #1 hits - "The Gambler," "Lady," "Lucille," "She
Believes in Me," "Islands in the Stream," and "We've Got Tonight"
among them. Two of Rogers' albums, The Gambler and Kenny, are
featured in the About.com poll of "The 200 Most Influential Country
Albums Ever", and his Greatest Hits album has sold over 24 million
copies worldwide to date. He is the RIAA's 8th best selling
male artist of all time with 1 Diamond album, 19 Platinum albums and
31 Gold albums.
Rogers has received hundreds of awards for his music and charity
work, including three Grammys, 11 People's Choice Awards, 18
American Music Awards, eight Academy of Country Music awards and
five Country Music Association awards. Remaining a popular
entertainer around the world, Rogers, voted the "Favorite Singer of
All-Time" in a 1986 joint poll by readers of both USA Today and
People, still loves touring and recording new music.
For over five decades, the gifted singer,
songwriter, musician, producer, actor, photographer and entertainer
has delivered memorable songs, drawing fans from many different
backgrounds. "I really, really love what I'm doing," Rogers
says. "People survive longer if they love what they're doing.
Because you just don't quit."
Rogers is one of very few
artists who have enjoyed successful careers in such a variety of
genres - jazz, folk, rock, country and pop. Houston-born Rogers
formed his first band while in high school in 1956 - a rockabilly
group called The Scholars (they performed on American Bandstand) -
and has never quit making music. He played stand-up bass in the jazz
group the Bobby Doyle Trio, and later became a member of the popular
folk group, The New Christy Minstrels. The spotlight started
focusing on Rogers when his group, The First Edition, scored their
first hit, "I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition
Was In), which was followed by the pop and country chart success of
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town."
Rogers' solo career shot into the stratosphere with the #1 hit,
"Lucille," which was named the CMA's Single of the Year and was
certified Gold. "Daytime Friends," "Sweet Music Man," and
"Love Or Something Like It" continued his run of success. Then came
"The Gambler," a story song so vivid it not only delighted country
and pop fans, it also became a TV movie, starring Rogers himself in
the title role. The movie spawned four follow-ups, making it the
longest running miniseries franchise on television. The five Gambler
mini-series have attracted over 100 million viewers nationwide and
launched a second career for Rogers as an actor on television and
Rogers consistently finds songs with universal appeal. Through
the course of his career, he has attracted fans with an incredible
range of music from country to soul to pop. "I've never
considered myself a great singer, but I am a great storyteller,"
Rogers told Billboard magazine, also noting that he feels his
strength as an artist is in finding great songs. In the 1980s,
Rogers' romantic country hits "Through The Years," "She Believes In
Me," "You Decorated My Life," and "Lady" - the biggest song of his
career - quickly became classics. "There are a lot of songs that may
have initial success but don't linger the period of time those songs
have," Rogers says. "They do take a different value in your heart
when they have that kind of staying power that represents your
success and represents a feeling and a thought. A song like that
becomes a part of your soul."
In 1999, after forming his own record company, Dreamcatcher
Entertainment, Rogers returned to the charts in a big way with the
hit, "The Greatest," and when the follow-up, "Buy Me a Rose," hit #1
in 2000, Rogers, at age 61, became the oldest artist in chart
history to have a #1 solo record in any format, proving his talent
was just as vibrant and meaningful as it was when he first started
out. That same year, the Recording Industry Association of
America awarded Kenny the prestigious Diamond Award celebrating
sales of more than 10 million albums for his Greatest Hits album
(sales to date have exceeded 24 million).
With his unique storytelling ability and soulful voice, Kenny has
continued his amazing run into the 21st century with a critically
acclaimed album (Water and Bridges) and hit single, "I Can't Unlove
You," a gold certified record (21 Number Ones), and now, the sweetly
timeless The Love of God. Kenny's relevance in the world of music
and pop culture has never been stronger.
For more information: www.kennyrogers.com
Thanks For The Music Kenny!