Kenny Rogers will deck the halls in 22 cities this November and December, as he crosses the U.S. and Canada on his 33rd holiday tour. The country legend’s Christmas & Hits Through the Years trek, with special guest Linda Davis, will kick off November 12th with a four-night run in Niagra Falls, Ontario, and will wrap December 23rd in Westbury, New York. (See a full list of cities and dates below.) Each stop will have its own set of unique backup singers: a local choir and local children.
Rogers promises a mix of holiday classics such as “O Holy Night” and “White Christmas” with several of his beloved hits, including “Lucille” and “The Gambler.” Though he’s sung those latter tunes night after night for almost four decades, the 76-year-old entertainer promises he’ll never be the kind of artist who abandons his signature songs in favor of road-testing new ones.
“Somebody asked me, ‘Do you ever get tired of doing your hits?’ and I said, ‘No, I don’t want to be the guy who walks out of there without them,'” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “There is something comforting about knowing that you have something to offer. I am very blessed with that, and I love doing those hits. I try to do very little new music, because the audience has to work really hard when you do a new song. They have to think, ‘Do I like the song? Do I agree with what it says?’ Whereas if you do a hit, it’s like, ‘OK, I can relax and enjoy this song.'”
There will be one exception, however — a new holiday tune penned by Jim Brickman, “That Silent Night.” Rogers sings on the track, which is featured on Brickman’s On a Winter’s Night: The Songs and Spirit of Christmas album, due for release October 7th. A portion of the album’s sales will support research for osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.
Before he gets into the holiday spirit, Rogers will celebrate his first CMA award nomination in 14 years and his first joint CMA nomination with Dolly Parton since 1986. The longtime pals are up for Musical Event of the Year, for their “You Can’t Make Old Friends” duet, at the November 5th awards ceremony.
“We were cutting this song, and it’s really our lives,” Rogers recalls of the recording session with Parton for the title track of his latest album. “We are in the middle of the song and she comes over and throws her arms around me and she says, ‘Kenny, I want you to know something: I could never sing at your funeral.’ I went, ‘We are assuming I am going first…. is that what you’re saying?'”
Kenny Rogers Christmas & Hits Through the Years Tour With Special Guest Linda Davis
November 12 — Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
November 13 — Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
November 14 — Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
November 15 — Niagara Falls, ON, Canada
November 2 — Moncton, NB, Canada
November 21 — Halifax, NS, Canada
November 22 — Sydney, NS, Canada
November 28 — Fort Pierce, Florida
November 29 — Sarasota, Florida
November 30 — Saint Petersburg, Florida
December 2 — Florence, South Carolina
December 5 — New Buffalo, Michigan
December 6 — Detroit, Michigan
December 7 — Evansville, Indiana
December 11 — Wheeling, West Virginia
December 12 — Van Wert, Ohio
December 13 — Wabash, Indiana
December 14 — Zanesville, Ohio
December 16 — Greenville, South Carolina
December 17 — Richmond, Virginia
December 18 — Verona, New York
December 19 — Uncasville, Connecticut
December 20 — Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
December 21 — Norfolk, Virginia
December 23 — Westbury, New York