Through the Years

Through the Years

I can still remember my older sister and I singing Kenny Rogers’ Islands in the Steam into our hairbrushes as kids. We were obsessed (and apparently a little nerdy, now that I think about it). Anyway, we were so obsessed that our long-suffering mother yelled several times a day for us to turn down our stereos and even threatened to throw away our beloved .45 single.(yes, I am just that old)

And I can also remember being ridiculously jealous when my parents let my sister go to see Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in concert. I was so angry at my older sister, and wouldn’t speak to her for days, because she wouldn’t let me tag along.

While I long ago got over my mad (did I mentioned she didn’t even bring me a stink’n concert tee?!), I never got over wanting to see Kenny in concert. “Through the Years“, “Lady“, “Coward of the County“, and “Gambler“, are just a few of the Kenny Rogers’ songs that are a part of the soundtrack of my childhood. And, even though I’ve always been far more “rocker chick” than “country girl”, I have always loved Kenny Rogers.

Sadly, though, Kenny didn’t have a whole lot of hits after I became an adult and the opportunity to see him live just never presented itself.

Until now, 30 years later.

Fulfilling Childhood Dreams

A couple years ago, David mentioned that he wanted to go to the Ozark Mountains, and we began to talk about Branson, Mo. At the time, there was an American Indian group, Brule’, performing there and we really wanted to see them. But, then, Brule came to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, and we saw them there.
Though we still hadn’t totally discarded the idea of going to Branson, it wasn’t in the top 10, or even top 20, of our bucket list either.

Until I discovered Kenny Rogers was performing there for one night. Then it went straight to #1. I had to go.

I joked that I was probably 30 years too late for a great Kenny Rogers concert but, because I had wanted to see him since I was 13, I had to go. So, we made reservations and headed to Branson to see Kenny live.

And it was awesome!

I wasn’t 30 years too late at all. Although he may no longer be selling out mega-arena’s like he did in his heyday, Kenny can still put on a fantastic show. He may be a little older, and a little greyer, but he’s still a fabulous entertainer and storyteller. And his voice is still hauntingly beautiful.

Kenny performed at The Oak Ridge Boys Theatre and, because it isn’t a huge venue, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. We were seated smack-dab in the middle of the center row and were able to clearly see Kenny Rogers and his band without having to use a big screen! Sadly, I assumed cameras wouldn’t be allowed so I didn’t take mine to the theatre. But once I realized we could take pictures, I pulled out my trusty phone. The pictures didn’t turn out as clearly as I’d wanted, but even that couldn’t lessen the joy of finally seeing Kenny.





By the end of the night my throat was sore from singing along to all my old favorites, including “Islands in the Stream“. He even performed a few I’d never heard from his early days with First Edition, and he sang several from his new album “You Can’t Make Old Friends“.

Seeing and hearing Kenny live was everything I’d hoped it would be, and I’m thrilled I was able to scratch that experience off my bucket list. All these years later, it was wonderfully unexpected.

And I even got a concert tee!

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