Music News

Kenny Rogers

When Kenny Rogers began promoting his latest CD, Water & Bridges, earlier this year, he was treated like a walking punchline thanks to hideously botched plastic surgery; he looked as if he'd inflated his head using a bicycle pump. Despite all the guffaws, however, the disc's lead single, "I Can't Unlove You," reached Billboard's Top 20. Given the relative dearth of 68-year-olds scoring hit tunes, this achievement should be surprising -- but not in Rogers's case. He first came to the public's attention as a member of a folk group, the New Christy Minstrels, before emerging as a quasi-rocker thanks to "Just Dropped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)," an enjoyable dose of bogus psychedelia later featured in The Big Lebowski. That was followed by a rash of cheesy country smashes (like "Lucille") and even cornier crossover offerings (e.g., "Islands in the Stream") that continue to earn easy-listening airplay. Much of this stuff is dreck, but critical dismissals roll off him as easily as nip/tuck jokes. If the planet is ever decimated by nuclear war, expect cockroaches and Kenny to be the only survivors.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts