He'll turn 80 next August, and he has been associated with country music for so long that it's hard to remember that Kenny Rogers started his career more than half a century ago as a rock musician.

Rogers is on his farewell tour, titled "The Gambler's Last Deal" and comes to the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom on Saturday night. Standing-room tickets are still available as of this writing at www.casinoballroom.com.

As Rogers closes the curtain on his remarkable career, let's go back and see how far he has come.

Indeed, he had a top-five single in 1967 as part of Kenny Rogers and the First Edition called "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," a top 20 single the following year called "But You Know I Love You" and a top 10 single in 1969 called "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town."

He had four more top 40 singles with the group in 1969-1970: "Reuben James," "Something's Burning," "Tell It All Brother" and "Heed the Call" before leaving the group in 1975 to embark on the solo career for which he has become best known.

His crossover success on the pop chart began in 1977 with "Lucille" (a top 5 single) and continued with at least one top 40 single in every year through 1984 (though he collaborated with USA for Africa on "We Are the World" in 1985).

He has charted more than 120 singles across various charts (country, pop, adult contemporary, rock), topped the country and pop album charts for more than 200 individual weeks in the United States, and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.


His legacy extends far beyond music, of course. He co-founded the Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant chain in 1991, and even though there are no locations in the United States, there are still individual franchises in Bangladesh, Cambodia, UAE and Thailand. The restaurant chain was satirized in a 1996 episode of "Seinfeld" and name-checked in the Beastie Boys song "Long Burn the Fire."

Rogers also starred in a number of movies throughout the 1980s, including "Six Pack" and TV movies "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County," the latter two based on his hit songs of the same names.

It's a long and extremely distinguished career, and it's coming to a close. So don't miss this one last chance to see him before he rides off into the sunset.