Country Music Hall of Fame member Kenny Rogers is in the midst of his highly successful “The Gambler’s Last Deal” farewell tour, which will wind down by year’s end. This morning in Nashville, he announced plans for his final stop in Music City on the route – October 25.
Blackbird Presents and Kenny Rogers are proud to announce “All In For The Gambler: Kenny Rogers’ Farewell Concert Celebration,” an all-star concert event taping at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 7PM CT. This once-in-a-lifetime concert event will honor Kenny Rogers’ historic 60-year career and will feature the final performance together by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, one of popular music’s most beloved duets of all time.
“As I’m bringing this chapter of my career to a close, this will be an unforgettable way to celebrate with my talented friends, who I’m so grateful to have crossed paths with,” says Kenny Rogers. “It means so much that they would feel compelled to do this for me. Of course, the night would not be the same without Dolly Parton being part of it. We’ve enjoyed a special friendship for decades, and I’ll forever look back fondly on the many collaborations, performances, and laughs we’ve shared as some of the most extraordinary moments of my career. I know it will be a moving experience for us standing on that stage together for one last time.”
Blackbird Presents’ Keith Wortman, creator and executive producer of Nashville’s recent highly acclaimed “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard,” is the creator and executive producer of “All In For The Gambler.” GRAMMY® Award Winner Don Was will serve as music director, and preside over a stellar house band backing the performers at this historic concert event taping. Kenny Rogers’ manager, Ken Levitan, also serves as executive producer. The event will be filmed and recorded for multi-platform distribution throughout traditional media (worldwide broadcast, music, and digital).
Wortman said that he felt privileged that the tribute show would fall under the Farewell Tour. “In talking with his longtime manager, we felt that the time was right to honor him. The next show we’re going to do will be one that honors the career of Kenny Rogers. This may be the most special show we’ve ever done,” he said. Previous Blackbird productions have saluted Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, and Kris Kristofferson, among others.
Rogers credited Dolly Parton for coming up with the inspiration for the event. “It’s going to be a very special event for me. Dolly Parton really started this. We were talking one day, and she said ‘Are you really doing your farewell tour?’ I said ‘Yes, I wanted to spend some time with my wife and kids.’ She said, ‘You can’t leave without me and you going on stage one last time and singing something. That’s how this whole thing started. She’s going to be there, and we’re going to sing for the very last time. It should be something very exciting.”
Rogers’ career is one of the most successful in the entertainment business, making him a natural for such a tribute, noted Wortman. “When we put these shows together, there are three things – one, we have to have a deep love for the music and the songs, two, there has to be a body of work to be celebrated, and most importantly that artist has to be so influential to other artists. If we call them, they want to come out and be a part of it. We started making calls last week, and everyone – without hesitation – said yes.”
To which Rogers retorted humorously, “I called a bunch of people and they said ‘Maybe.’ I sent out letters to everyone that had worked with me in the past, and almost everybody said yes, but said ‘You can’t announce it yet.’ I said ‘That really helps a lot,’ but we got an agreement from Alison Krauss, Little Big Town, and Dolly Parton, and my buddy Linda Davis, who has been out on my Farewell Tour with me.” In addition, The Flaming Lips, Idina Menzel, Jamey Johnson, Elle King were also announced, and many other special guests will be announced in the coming weeks.
Looking back at his long and illustrious career, Rogers noted that he tried to forge his own musical path when embarking on a Country career in the mid 1970s. “There’s only two ways you can do it – you can come in and do what everybody else is doing, and you do it better. I didn’t like my chances of doing something better than Johnny Cash, Willie, or Waylon. Or you do something that nobody else is doing, and you don’t invite comparisons. You have to pick great songs if you’re going to do that, and that’s what I always thought my strength was.”
Tickets go on sale July 21, 2017 at 10AM CT online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, all Ticketmaster locations and the Bridgestone Arena box office. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the T.J. Martell Foundation and the Kenny Rogers Children’s Center. For more information, visit www.AllInForTheGambler.com or www.KennyRogers.com.