Before reaching stardom with country hits like "Islands In The Stream" and "Coward Of The County," Southern legend Kenny Rogers grew up in the projects of Houston, Texas. "I remember when I was a little boy and I was going to school, I used to walk to school. I walked through one of the most expensive parts of Houston, and I used to see these houses that had automatic sprinklers. I always thought that was so cool. I thought if I ever get old enough to do it, I'm going to have automatic sprinklers." This Country Music Hall of Famer has made a phenomenal impact on Southern culture and music (and, can certainly afford automatic sprinklers of his own!). He's won dozens of Grammy, CMA, AMA, CMT, and ACM Awards, not to mention his handful of TV and movie credits. Kenny Rogers – known best as The Gambler – is on his final tour before retirement. We sat down with the award-winning star to talk about fatherhood with his twin boys, what he loves most about Southerners, and why Dolly Parton is one of his dearest friends.
I don't gamble, because I found out I can't win enough to excite me, but I can lose enough to depress me, so I just don't. I fold them at all times. [BLANK_AUDIO] There's something about people from The South, who there's a genuineness about them. When they talk to you, you don't feel like they're talking to you For any other reason other than they really care about you and I loved that. [MUSIC] My favorite childhood memories? I was raised in the projects in Houston. And I remember when I was a little boy, I was going to school. I used to walk to school and I walked through one of the most expensive parks in Houston And I used to see these houses had automatic sprinklers and I always thought that was so cool. I thought if I ever get old enough to do it, I'm gonna have auto sprinklers. I like macaroni and cheese. I think that's pretty good. And my mum used to make pinto beans with ice. That was good too. [MUSIC] I've struggled with this. I have identical twin boys that is 12 years old. And I have trouble relating to their point of view. It just I get irritated too quick and I don't realize this till 12. [MUSIC] That I helped as many people as I could along the way throughout my career and some very special people that I've met. [MUSIC] I don't know, I told my twins They said, what are you gonna do when you retire? I said, I don't know. I thought I would quit making music and come home and spend all my time with you and they both went, no. So apparently that wasn't a good idea. Will there be another album? They're talking to me about it, but I don't really have any interest in doing it. Cuz the problem is, once you do an album, you have to go out and promote. And I'm just, I'm too tired for that. [MUSIC] We bought a llama and a goat, and something else. I had a farm in Athens, Georgia. We bought these animals, and I thought llamas would be I was, after surgery, all my Oxycontin, and things were a bit blurry with me. And I was watching a show and they said, I love alpacas, and I turned to my wife and I said, I think I do! And so we ordered three of '. And by the time they got there. It was really fun. I mean, I enjoyed it, but then they spit on me. I said ok, out. We had to build the shed farm and then air conditioning and put water. It was a lot of trouble. We were doing, You Can't Make Old Friends. And I looked up at her, and she wasn't at her microphone. She had left her microphone, and came into my studio, my part of the studio. And she put her arms around my neck, and she said, Kenny, I think you should know, I could never sing at your funeral. Well, I went. [LAUGH] So we're assuming I'm going first, is that what you're saying? So [INAUDIBLE], but I love her. I love her for that. You never know what she's gonna say, but it always comes from love, it is. It's never anger, and it's never revenge, it's always love. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]