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Music, kids keep Kenny Rogers young

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Thursday, May 1, 2014, at 12:30 a.m.

Photos

If you go

Kenny Rogers

When: 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: Orpheum, 200 N. Broadway

Tickets: $49, $59, $69, www.selectaseat.com

Information: www.wichitaorpheum.com

Don’t expect Kenny Rogers to fold ’em anytime soon.

“I’ve been at this a long time,” Rogers said. “I’m feeling good, and I don’t see a reason to quit. I’m going to keep on going.”

Rogers still has it. The silver-haired fox has a golden set of pipes at 75. “I try to take care of myself,” Rogers said. “If you do that, you can sing for quite awhile.”

Rogers, who will perform Thursday at the Orpheum Theatre, has been singing for quite a while. He has charted more than 120 hit singles in a number of genres, and he’s sold more than 130 million albums. He’s also in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Rogers’ hits include “Lucille,” “Coward of the County,” “The Gambler” and “Lady.” “It’s been an extraordinary run,” Rogers said. “I couldn’t be more fortunate.”

It all started for Rogers when he was growing up in Houston during the 1940s. “From a very young age, I was encouraged to do what I wanted to do,” Rogers said. “My mother said it was a good idea to find a job that I loved so it would seem like I was not really working. So I found music or it found me, and it has felt like I’ve never worked in my life because I’ve always loved it. If you find anything you’re passionate about, pursue it.”

Rogers had success with his initial band, the jazzy New Edition, but he didn’t really hit until he was about to reach the half-century mark during the 1980s. “Things were good for me early on, but I threw all of that money away,” Rogers said. “But I was fortunate to be able to find an audience as I got older and I did it singing country music, which was always my first love. I grew up on country and it was so natural for me to sing it. I love country because it’s real. There’s usually pain there. It appeals to me.”

Rogers rolled out the pain and everything else in the book “Luck or Something Like It: A Memoir,” which details his five decades in music.

“I experienced some fascinating things over the years,” Rogers said. “It’s been an amazing ride. I grew up with nothing and made something of myself, but like a lot of people in this business, I kept losing my money. I’ve ridden the rollercoaster. I’ve had my shares of ups and downs. My career has been great, not so great. I’ve been married five times. It’s been an adventure and you know, it’s still happening.”

Expect Rogers to keep going. “As long as my health holds up, why not keep it going,” Rogers said. “I love it. The fans have a good time. I think it keeps me young.”

Two young children and his fifth wife also keep Rogers young. “That’s all going great,” Rogers said. “Fortunately, I don’t have a problem with commitment. This marriage has given me two great kids. I have it all, a wonderful family and a career that’s been amazing. My wife is incredible. I can’t complain about a thing.”

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