Embarking on his 30th anniversary of his Christmas & Hits Tour, fans will get an early Christmas present when the iconic Kenny Rogers performs in the Event Center at L’Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles on Friday, Dec. 9, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets for this show, which is restricted to ages 21 years and older, are $55-$45 and can be purchased at the L’Auberge Business Center, online at ticketmaster.com or by phone (800) 745-3000.
The Houston-born 73-year-old Rogers will sing some of his favorite holiday classics and will be joined on stage by a local children’s choir during parts of the show. If that’s not an incentive, Billy Dean will also share the stage with Rogers. Of course the night would not be complete without hearing some of Rogers’ biggest hits.
“I think a Christmas audience comes to a show with a different mindset that any other,” Rogers told Billboard magazine. “A Christmas audience comes in and they say, ‘I really want to enjoy this.’ Someone coming into a regular show wanting to hear the hits will say, ‘Make me enjoy this.’ I think they’re there to be happy.”
Rogers released his first holiday themed album in 1981 called Christmas, and he went on to record seven more including his first live holiday record in 2010.
“Thirty years is a long time to do anything, but a Christmas show seems to get easier every year, especially when I get a chance to work with friends like Billy Dean,” added Rogers. “He always brings a great energy and beautiful music to the event.”
Dean, who previously worked with Rogers, released his first of 10 studio albums in 1990 and saw success with the singles “Only Here for a Little While,” “Somewhere in My Broken Heart,” “Let Them be Little,” “We Just Disagree,” “If There Hadn’t Been You” and “Billy the Kid.”
Expect to hear songs such as “White Christmas,” “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let it Snow!,” “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” and “‘Til The Season Comes ‘Round Again.”
After graduating from Davis High School in Houston, Rogers sang in groups like The Scholars, The Bobby Doyle Trio and The New Christy Minstrels before settling with Kenny Rogers and The First Edition, with whom he recorded “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.”
His first original solo album came in 1976 with Love Lifted Me then came a string of five consecutive No. 1 albums, two of which, The Gambler and Kenny, combined to sell more than 10 million copies.
Singles like “Lucille,” “Daytime Friends,” “Love or Something Like It,” “The Gambler,” “She Believes in Me,” “You Decorated My Life” and “Coward of the County” reached No. 1 on the country charts and helped Rogers become a household name.
It was also during that time that Rogers met up with the late Dottie West, and the two recorded a No. 1 album Every Time Two Fools Collide in 1978.
He later went on to score major success by teaming with Kim Carnes in 1980 with “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer,” then with Sheena Easton in “We’ve Got Tonight.”
Fellow musician Ronnie Milsap and Rogers recorded “Make No Mistake, She’s Mine,” and who could forget “Islands in the Stream” with Dolly Parton?
In 1981, Kenny also collaborated with the great Lionel Ritchie, who wrote and produced one of Rogers’ biggest songs — “Lady.”
It was also during that time that Rogers jumped to the big screen and landed the lead role as a racecar driver in the 1982 hit Six Pack, which also starred the young Diane Lane and Anthony Michael Hall. He later starred in made for television movies The Gambler and Coward of the County.
Hits continued during the second half of the ’80s and Rogers also took part with 44 other musicians for the “We Are the World” charity song in 1984 and co-hosted the American Music Awards in 1987.
While Rogers wasn’t as active in the studio during the ’90s, he returned in 2000 with “Buy Me a Rose” and became the oldest (61) artist in the history of country music to have a No. 1 record, breaking what was then a 26-year-old record held by the legend Hank Snow. However, Rogers’ record was broken some three years later by Willie Nelson (70).
In 2008, Rogers signed a deal to release an album titled 50 Years, which was sold exclusively at Cracker Barrel and also contained three new songs.
As of 2011, Rogers has recorded 65 albums, sold over 190 million records and is the only artist to chart a record in the last six decades. Popular soundtracks such as Urban Cowboy (1980) and later The Big Lebowski (1998) helped bring the music of Kenny Rogers to new generations of listeners.
Despite countless honors and a storied career, Rogers has recently claimed that he is working on a new album. So don’t let the silver hair fool you. It’s been that way for decades, and Kenny Rogers appears to have plenty of good music and live performances left. Drop in on him at L’Auberge on Dec. 9 and see what condition his condition is in.