Kenny Rogers is bringing decades of hit songs to his Cranbrook concert

Kenny Rogers is bringing decades of hit songs to his Cranbrook concert

Kenny Rogers aims to make new friends with Cranbrook concert

Country music legend looking forward to the intimate surroundings of Western Financial Place

Even for an artist who’s had 120 hit singles and sold more than 100 million records over a 50-year career, Kenny Rogers has had a monster year.

Rogers is playing Cranbrook on Feb. 26. But in the months leading up to this date, he’s released his 22nd Top 10 country album, got a Grammy nomination along with old friend Dolly Parton, been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and handed the CMA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He’s had a novel published, and been awarded an Honorary Masters of Photography.

He’s spent much of the past year roaming the planet with his Through The Years World Tour.

Western Financial Place in Cranbrook will feature an arrangement where the stage faces the side seating, rather than end to end. This will make for an up-close-and-personal evening, and Rogers is looking forward to it.

“You know, I’d actually rather work those kinds of (smaller) venues, because you can really feel the audience more,” Rogers told the Townsman in an interview last week. “If you work big venues, what you have to do is play to the front two rows and acknowledge the back 10. But this way you get to see everybody — literally. I turn on the house lights from time to time and I get a chance to look around, and see who’s there. It’s fun for me to do that, to pick out people. There’s always someone holding a sign that says, ‘Where’s Dolly?’

“It’s a totally different feel, but it’s much more rewarding. There’s a better connection in those conditions, and I just love it.”

Rogers’ latest album, ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends,’ was released last October and reached number nine on the U.S. country charts. Rogers has said it is the best album he’s ever recorded.

“It is,” he insisted. “Warner Brothers called me and said, ‘We want you to do an album.’ We had a meeting and I said, ‘I want you to know that I understand and I accept the fact that at this point in my career I may not be able to get it on the radio.’ And the president of the company said, ‘Don’t worry about the radio. Do the 10 songs or 11 songs that you want to do.’

“Because I’ve always had a knack for picking good songs. And not having the pressure of the radio took so much pressure off me as an artist, that I have some songs that I would never have even looked at before.

“That’s what I think makes it so special. It’s really more fun. It was top 10 the first week out, so we must have done something right.

“There’s really only two ways I can compete,” Rogers continued. “I can do what everybody else is doing, and do it better. And I don’t like my chances with that. Or I can do something nobody else is doing, and then you go in by comparison.”

The album’s title track features old friend and duet-mate Dolly Parton. The pair were nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award for “You Can’t Make Old Friends.”

“That song was written for us,” Rogers said. “And we both felt it was not so important that it be a successful big hit on radio. But it was important to both of us to have our relationship documented. We can go years without seeing each other, but when she walks in the room it’s like we were together yesterday.”

What about the concert that Cranbrook can look forward to?

“I got about 18 or 19 top 10 records, and I do them all. ‘Lucille,’ ‘Coward of the County,’ ‘Daytime Friends’ … All the ballads: ‘Love the World Away,’ ‘Through the Years,’ ‘She Believes in Me,’ ‘Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town’ … All those things, and I’m going to mix some new things in.”

And the band that’s accompanying Rogers?

“My band has been with me, most of them, for the better part of 40 years. And they’re great players and good friends, and they just get better every time we go out.”

In October of last year, Rogers was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in November received the CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I’m glad it happened now, rather than at the peak of my career,” Rogers said, “because at the peak of my career I had so much on my table, I don’t know that I could have really appreciated it.

“I have two twin boys, nine years old, and they just thought that was so cool. My older boys were there (at the ceremony), my brothers and sisters, my wife. It was a great family moment.”

Not that Rogers appears to be slowing down too much, creatively. In September, a novel written by Rogers, with Mike Blakely, was released, titled “What Are The Chances?”

“It’s about the game of Texas hold’em being invented. It’s about a kid who wants to be in Nashville, and he’s there when Texas hold’em is invented.”

As to the aforementioned Honorary Masters of Photography, awarded by the Professional Photographers of America:

“I have a new category for psychiatrists — I’m impulsive-obsessive,” Rogers said. “I get involved with something impulsively, and then I get obsessed with it, to see how well I can do it. That’s what happened with photography. You go out on the road, you have an hour and a half where you’re high, where the audience is carrying you and you’re feeling great. The other 22 and a half hours of nothing to do. So I always find things to do. I play tennis — I never played tennis until I was 35, and then I got a national ranking. Because I took it so seriously, and worked so hard. And it’s the same with photography. Once I found out I could do it, I worked to see how well I could do it. And it was really very rewarding.”

The Kenny Rogers Through the Years 2014 World tour, with special guest Charlie Major, touches down at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, Feb. 26. Showtime 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at Western Financial Place box office, by phone at 250-426-SEAT, or online at

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read