Today would have been Kenny Rogers’ 82nd birthday, but it’s his fans who are receiving the gift. Rogers’ estate has just released a new live video of “The Gambler” and announced plans for a Greatest Hits Live album to follow.
“It seemed fitting that the first release from the estate would be one of Kenny’s most beloved songs,” his widow Wanda Rogers said in a statement. “’The Gambler’ was one of Kenny’s biggest hits and his live performance of the track in concert was always a highlight of any show. ’The Gambler’ became more than a song for Kenny, it became part of his persona. This live recording from 1985 is Kenny at the top of his game.”
The newly-released rendition of “The Gambler” was recorded during Rogers’ performance at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, on April 13, 1985, as part of his acclaimed 1985 North American tour. That same year, Rogers performed at the first-ever Farm Aid concert and participated in the recording of “We Are the World.”
In 2018, “The Gambler” was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.” Following Rogers’ death on March 20, 2020, “The Gambler” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Digital Song Sales chart. Details for Greatest Hits Live will be revealed later this year.