Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
By Kenny Rogers
Let's see...it was the week of April 2, 2006. We were all speculating which song Taylor would sing that week on American Idol. Tuesday night finally rolled around and we all got a look at the guest star for the week - the legend, Kenny Rogers. All those songs he sang came flooding back...The Gambler; Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town; Lady; Lucille; Coward of the County; Islands in the Stream...the list goes on and on. We remembered the chiseled, bearded face...the cowboy...the rough-rider. Then, we saw him. What had he done to himself? Had he stumbled into some bad plastic surgery? This was not the Kenny we remembered. There was probably more talk about Kenny's face than about Taylor's song choice that week ("Country Roads" - we 'll never forget that one!). Later reports indicated that even Kenny wasn't too happy with his most recent foray into the world of face-lifts.
Fast forward 8 months to last night. DH and I are sitting in a stadium here in town (we managed to score some floor table seating that included dinner and drinks). We're sipping our so-so table wine and waiting for the 25th annual "Kenny Rogers Christmas and Greatest Hits" show. Me? I'd never seen him live in concert but had always loved his hits and those damn "Gambler" movies (how many were there, anyway???). DH remembered spinning his "First Edition" tunes as a DJ in the late 60's. We're stoked, albeit a little unsure of what to expect "up close and personal." The moment he walks out on the stage, we forget all about the face. Now remember: the man is 68 years old...68 YEARS OLD! Last night, he delivered a yeoman's performance. The first half of the show was devoted to "hits". And he delivered them, one after the other. While singing "The Gambler", he strolled out onto the floor and stopped at each table to sing a few notes. DH managed to snap a few close-ups with his camera phone as Kenny approached our table (still waiting for the downloads...check back later).
After an intermission, the audience was treated to a Christmas songfest, complete with a Norman Rockwell set and big Christmas tree...everything was red and green and cozy. There was audience participation (11 lucky peeps were pulled on stage to sing "The Twelve Days of Christmas") and the second set included the beautiful voice of Kenny's touring partner, Linda Davis, and a local high school choir and children's group (Kenny makes it a point to include local kids in all of his shows). Throughout the set of both secular and non-secular tunes, the man delivered. It was over before I knew it, but I have to tell you...this did more to put me in the Christmas spirit than anything else that has crossed my path this season. I usually don't get all schmaltzy about stuff like this, but I would highly recommend it to anyone who has the chance to see it. You won't even notice the plastic surgery...