Kenny tunes up for a final show with Dolly

Kenny Rogers performs at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., earlier this year.
Kenny Rogers performs at the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, Calif., earlier this year.

The final farewell concert by KENNY ROGERS in Nashville later this month is now the hottest ticket in ‘Music City’, with the appearance of his celebrated duet partner Dolly Parton adding to the glitz on what will be a memorable evening.

The last time Kenny and Dolly performed together in public was in 2005, when the CMT network screened its version of ‘Islands in the Stream’, originally written by the Bee Gees, and recorded by the pair in 1983.

The upcoming concert at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday October 25 will only be the third time the pair have sung together in 27 years – and both insist it will be their last. Kenny, with his husky tenor/baritone vocals and engaging stage charm, has been an influential performer on the US country scene for 50 years, yet he remains humbling about the phenomenal global success he has enjoyed as an entertaining megastar.

“I have had some memorable times, touring America and the world with my music,” says movie star Kenny, now 79. “However, my personal mobility has gotten kind of strange, and I don’t like to go on stage and have to apologise. It’s one of those things – you make decisions based on what life gives you. I’ve had a great life, I can’t complain, but it’s time for me to hang it up, I think.”

Kenny, father of twin sons now aged 13, is convinced he is making the right decision.

Sell-out signs for the ‘All In for the Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration’ are up and a raft of big-name guest performers will join the silver-haired Texan and the magnetic Dolly on stage. A portion of the proceeds will benefit charities, including Kenny Rogers Children’s Center in Missouri.

Kenny’s distinguished recording CV includes classic hits Lucille, The Gambler, Coward of the County, Ruben James, and Daytime Friends. His concert appearances in Belfast over the years built up for him a huge fan base here and, although he heads off into the sunset, the Rogers’ musical legacy lives on.