Kenny Rogers: Cards on the Table 19 November 2021: Friday on BBC Four
Examining the life and career of the artist who ‘knows when to hold ’em and knows when to fold ’em’, this documentary chronicles Kenny Rogers’s remarkable rise to the top of his game and the golden era of country music he ushered in.
With an exclusive, candid interview from Rogers himself and performance footage gathered on his recent Through the Years tour, this honest and eye-opening film provides a backstage pass to a remarkable 50-year career of performing and recording.
Associates and luminaries provide personal insight into how the poor, music-obsessed boy from Houston, Texas went on to become a superstar with over 120 million albums sold worldwide. Singer, songwriter and producer Kim Carnes recalls how the New Christy Minstrels folk group – of which she and Kenny were members in the late 1960s – was like a ‘school on the road’ that provided them both with a springboard from which to explore other musical ambitions. Actor and musician Mickey Jones recounts his time with Kenny in the band The First Edition, whose hit single Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) made Kenny an unlikely poster boy for the psychedelic generation. Longtime friend Lionel Richie reveals how a trip to the bathroom played a crucial role in the recording session for Lady, one of Kenny’s biggest hits.
Away from music, the programme reveals how Kenny’s drive and ambition – what he describes as his ‘impulsive-obsessive’ nature – led to success in other fields: according to the renowned photographer John Sexton, the country music legend was determined to master the art of photography (Kenny was recently awarded an honorary Master of Photography degree by the Professional Photographers Association).
For over half a century, Kenny has kept us entertained with some of the best-known and best-loved music ever recorded. With a career spanning everything from jazz to folk, 60s psychedelia to R&B, perhaps his real legacy lies in the fact that he introduced a trailblazing pop sensibility to country music.
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About the Show
This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.
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