He knows when to hold ‘em, and there’s no need to fold ‘em: The man they call The Gambler hopes to pull an ace out of his sleeve with a television special, “Kenny Rogers: The First 50 Years.”
Kenny hasn’t found a TV home for it yet, but he has got a date and place for the shoot: April 10 at the Foxwoods Resort Casino’s MGM Grand Theater in Mashantucket, Conn. He also has a bunch of friends lined up to help out: Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Wynonna and the Oak Ridge Boys.
“When this was first proposed to me as a 50-year celebration, something about that sounded final, and I didn’t want that,” Kenny conceded. “So I suggested we call it ‘The First 50 Years.’ I will tell you this, the first 50 years TV show is gonna be awesome — the next 50 years TV show is gonna be a bitch.”
Kenny’s putting songwriter-producer Monty Powell to work as the special’s musical director. Monty’s written such hits as Keith Urban’s “‘Til Summer Comes Around,” Tim McGraw’s “One Of These Days” and Diamond Rio’s “Nowhere Bound.”
The special actually comes together nearly two years after Kenny released the album Kenny Rogers: 50 Years through Cracker Barrel. The TV announcement, made as Kenny does a pair of shows with the Nashville Symphony, comes together after another project that featured him returned to the news. Kenny was among more than 40 stars who appeared on the original 1985 version of “We Are The World.” On Monday, Lionel Richie oversaw the 25th anniversary recording of a new rendition for Haiti. This one featured more than 70 acts, including Julianne Hough, Sugarland, Zac Brown, Miley Cyrus, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and Snoop Dogg.