Kenny Rogers sings all the classics at the county fair
Published 1:28 pm Saturday, August 3, 2013
By Quinn Andersen
As the first notes of “Love or Something Like It” played, the crowd cheered, and Kenny Rogers took the stage Friday night at the Freeborn County Fair. Rogers started off the night with two of his faster songs, leaving fans a little dazed.
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“Thank you very much and welcome,” Rogers said. “Don’t worry those are the loudest songs I know.”
Rogers told the crowd he liked being able to see their faces but normally he isn’t able to see faces.
“Usually they keep it dark all the way back,” Rogers said. “One night I thought to myself, my god these people could leave and I wouldn’t even know.”
Rogers said as a rule he doesn’t pick on people but there was a woman in the eighth row that had the biggest binoculars he had ever seen.
“What are you trying to see with those?” Rogers asked her. “I think binoculars in the first 10 rows is an invasion of privacy.”
Rogers went on to explain how he tells the difference between married couples from unmarried couples in the audience. He said that unmarried couples will cuddle together during his love songs but married couples, if they even brush together give each other a look that says seven children is enough for one marriage.
On that note, Rogers went on the play “If You Want to Find Love” and “Through the Years.”
Later Rogers went on to play “Ruby Don’t Take Your Love to Town” and relied on the crowd to sing the end of each verse, which simply goes “Oh Ruby don’t take your love to town.” However, the crowed simply failed time and time again.
Rogers said that the crowd he played for in Quebec did a better job.
“They don’t even speak English in Quebec,” Rogers said.
Rogers proceeded to praise his friend Don Schlitz, writer of “The Gambler” and “The Greatest,” saying he has a gift for making music relatable.
Rogers played songs “Coward of the County,” “Daytime Friends, Nighttime Lovers,” and “She’s a Mystery to Me.”
Rogers said “She’s a Mystery to Me” is the song that makes him sure men are from Mars and women are from Venus.
Rogers continued to play “Something’s Burning,” “We’ve got Tonight,” and “Stand Up.”
After that song Rogers asked the crowd if they knew what was wrong with the picture. He informed the crowded the name of the song was “Stand Up.”
“Only 35 people stood up,” Rogers said. “I counted them.”
Rogers gave the crowd one last chance to stand up as he sang the refrain again.
Rogers asked the audience to help him sing “Have a Little Faith in Me” this time teaching the audience the words.
Of course, Rogers played “The Gambler” and closed with a classic “Lucille,” which the crowd sung along with perfectly.
“Oh so now you want to sing?” Rogers asked the crowd. “OK, if you’re going to sing it, sing it!”
Once the song was done Rogers told the crowd that he wouldn’t be going and hiding and pretending he’s not coming back.
“It’s not like you don’t know I’m coming back,” Rogers said.
So without going to hide to wait for the crowd to ask for an encore, Rogers played two final songs “Lady” and Rogers’ favorite duet he has ever done, “Island in the Stream.”
This was Rogers’ 50th year in the music business.
“It’s been a great ride,” Rogers said. “I’ve made some great friends.”
Last April, Rogers did a show called “The First 50 Years.”
“The idea insinuating that I have another 50 years,” Rogers said. “I don’t like my chances.”
Rogers said the show was a real treat to see his old friends, but what made it really special was it had all the original members of The First Edition, a group Rogers was in prior to being a solo artist.