Billy Currington Always Wanted to Be ‘The Gambler’
Billy Currington is one of the artists recently added to the long list of performers taking part in the upcoming television tribute to Kenny Rogers, titled 'The First 50 Years.' The singer could not be more thrilled to have the chance to honor the icon for his contributions to music through the years. Billy grew up idolizing the superstar, and Kenny was definitely the main musical influence in Billy's life.
"Kenny Rogers is the man, no doubt," Billy tells The Boot. "The first concert I ever went to as a kid was Kenny Rogers. His '20 Greatest Hits' was the first set of music I ever got in my life. And then I saw the movies 'Six Pack' and 'The Gambler' and 'Coward of the County,' and I just wanted to be Kenny Rogers. I even parted my hair down the middle like Kenny Rogers. [laughs] I just wanted to be him. I'm a big fan, and still today that hasn't changed. I'm excited to be a part of that 50 years [special]."
Billy looks up to Kenny for several reasons, but especially for his versatility in choosing songs. "I like the way he recorded so many different types of music," Billy explains. "He recorded a lot of love songs, but he could go over to the 'Gideon' album, where he recorded all those roughneck type songs. And then I heard a lot of gospel songs that he recorded that a lot of people haven't even heard. He's recorded tons and tons of music, and just being diverse like that, and being an actor too, kept him going all these 50 years. He was good at it all."
The Georgia native even recorded Kenny's 1977 No. 1 hit 'Lucille' for his 'Doin' Something Right' album, and says the song will probably be the one he performs on the special.
The all-star cast also includes Dolly Parton, Lionel Richie, Alison Krauss, Smokey Robinson, Chris Isaak, Wynonna, Sheena Easton and a few original members of The First Edition. They are scheduled to perform live at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Ledyard, Conn., on Saturday (April 10). Performances by Billy, Tim McGraw and Darius Rucker will be taped from remote locations for the special.