Kenny Rogers is known as "the Gambler," but he jokes about what else he is.

"I’m old," he laughed. "My voice is fine on the stage, but my mobility is going.

"It’s one of the reasons this became my farewell tour."

Kenny Rogers: The Gambler’s Last Deal rolls into Dodge City on Saturday, April 29. Show time is 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Rogers said on Friday he has two very good reasons for ending his musical career.

"I have twin boys who are 12 years old," he said. "I want to spend as much time as possible with them.

"I think it’s important to take the time to be with them. I have a bucket list of things I want to do with my kids. One of the things I want to do is take them on a salmon run in Alaska."

His twins joined Rogers in Africa for the start of the world tour and he said he learned something about them on that trip.

"I gave them each a camera and told them to take all the pictures they wanted to take and at the end of the trip, we’d put them in a book," Rogers said. "At the end, I had 150 selfies from each boy."

The longtime singer, who had a hit record in 1957, said it was a family decision to walk off the stage, but one that he addressed with both of his families.

"I had to talk about it with the band as well," he said. "They’ve been with me for 40 years.

"I’ve seen their children grow up and have children of their own. My band is very talented and they can go and play with someone else, but I needed to make sure the band was OK with the decision."

Rogers has had a lot of fun with the world tour.

"It’s a journey for me and the fans to go through my songs and my career," he said. "I know I have to sing Islands in the Stream, the Gambler and Lucille for the fans at each show.

"But the rest I can pick and choose and have some fun with."

Rogers, when he sings the Gambler, plays video of his time in the movie made from his song.

"Acting was something I wanted to do and had to master," he said. "It’s funny, but when I do the song, I tend to turn my back and watch the video."

Rogers’ concerts are filled with people of many ages.

"I’ve had many young people show up and tell me their parents made them listen to me when they were younger," the singer laughed. "It’s a blessing to my career, to my choice of songs, that my career has lasted as long as it has.

"Good songs are the key. I’ve had great ballads and great story songs."

One of the reasons his world tour is hitting smaller venues — like United Wireless Arena — is because it allows Rogers to connect to more people.

"In a 20,000 arena, you sing to the first three rows," Rogers said. "In a smaller venue, you sing to everyone and the sounds usually better."

Sales for the concert next month have been steady since the announcement of the show.

"They’ve been good," said arena executive director Chris Ragland. "We’re really happy to have Kenny Rogers come to United Wireless Arena on his farewell tour."

Good seats are still available for the show. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com or at the arena box office.

 

To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.