The Ottumwa Courier

December 17, 2013

Kenny Rogers isn't slowing down

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — It's been a busy time for Grammy award-winning artist Kenny Rogers, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

At 75 years old, Rogers has been nominated for another Grammy with Dolly Parton for their new song "You Can't Make Old Friends." He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October. He received the CMA WIllie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award in November. And he has new books, a new album and a television special all out at the same time.

Rogers will also be awarded an honorary Masters of Photography by the Professional Photographers of America in January. He has published three books of his photography and is working on a fourth.

If that wasn't enough, he is also in the midst of his 32nd annual Christmas tour. The county music legend will bring his 2013 "Christmas and Hits Through the Years" show to Ottumwa Friday. Beginning at 8 p.m. at the Bridge View Center, the first half of the show will be filled with Rogers' classic hits, while the second half will celebrate the Christmas season. His special guest is Linda Davis.

Reserved seats to the performance are $62.50 and $42.50. For more information, call 641-684-7000.

Rogers recently spoke to the Courier about all of the the excitement in his life right now.

Q: Where does your induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame rank in your career of accomplishments?

A: It's like I said that night for my acceptance speech, artists come and go. I don't care who you are, you come and you go. Music comes and goes, but the Hall of Fame is forever. I think that's something really exciting. I have identical twin boys who are 9 years old now, and I took them with me up there. I don't know if they fully got the scope of it, but I think they saw that it was a pretty big deal. As they get older, they'll really be able to appreciate it.

Q: When people stop you to talk about music and your career, is there always talk about what their favorite song is and where they've seen you perform?

A: I get that every night ... (my sons) took their first drum lesson the other day, and their teacher sent me an email that said, "The first concert I ever went to was your concert in Fort Lauderdale, Fla." And I thought that was so cool. I have people every night that will say, "Your concert was the first concert I ever went to." In the show I tell people that I'm convinced my audience consists of two groups of people now: people born since 1980 whose parents forced them to listen to my music as child abuse and people born before the 1960s who can no longer remember the '60s.

Q: This is the third time you and Dolly have been nominated together for a Grammy. Is there ever a point where this becomes old hat or is it always exciting?

A: It's always exciting because of the unknown. The older you get and the further away from your big success you get, the more interesting these things become. After a while, what you're doing is trying for history, and I think that's what happens with me now at this point. Our last album ... was my 23rd Top 10 album, and that's history.