Feature Focus

2013-10-08T00:00:00Z Feature Focus nwitimes.com
October 08, 2013 12:00 am

Kenny Rogers takes chances on new album

Kenny Rogers, "You Can't Make Old Friends" (Warner Bros.)

Kenny Rogers enters his 75th year with an album that blends the familiar with the challenging, seeking new hits and pursuing new ideas even as he enters the Country Music Hall of Fame this fall.

His age occasionally shows in the raggedness at the edges of his vocal tone. But Rogers always made the huskiness of his voice work for him, and that holds true through most of these 11 new songs. Impressively, he hits high, forceful notes when required, matching longtime duet partner Dolly Parton on the soaring passages of the wistfully sentimental title tune, which would have fit on any of his solo albums from decades past.

On the progressive side, Rogers tackles the struggles of a Mexican immigrant on the Spanish-tinged ballad "Dreams Of The San Joaquin;" a jaunty Gulf Coast dance tune on "Don't Leave Me in the Night Time," featuring accordionist Buckwheat Zydeco; and a complex narrative about fighting darkness in the modern world on "Turn This World Around," a duet with young singer-songwriter Eric Paslay.

He occasionally reaches too far, as in "'Merica," certainly the first patriotic tune to reference a spanked child and a drunken uncle. For the most part, though, Rogers proves he can still deliver the romantic ballads and dramatic narratives on which his reputation rests. AP

Fox News' Megyn Kelly heading to prime time

Ask Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly how her new prime-time program will differ from the edgy news show she had been hosting in the afternoon and she says that "it's going to be dark out."

The joke has a serious point. Don't expect Kelly to turn into a fire-breathing partisan because she has more exclusive real estate.

"If you watch O'Reilly, you hear a lot about what Bill O'Reilly thinks," she said. "Sean Hannity, same thing. But you're not going to hear what I think."

"The Kelly File" is the linchpin to the first overhaul of Fox's prime-time lineup since 2002, a century in television time. Starting Monday, Hannity moved back an hour to 10 p.m. to make room for Kelly at 9, Greta Van Susteren shifted to 7 p.m. and Shepard Smith became a roving news anchor making appearances throughout the evening.

At the time of the last schedule change, when Van Susteren moved to Fox from CNN, the now 42-year-old Kelly was an unhappy Washington lawyer. She began reporting news for a local Washington station on weekends in 2003. A year after that, she was noticed and hired by Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

She cut her maternity leave short following the July 23 birth of her third child so "The Kelly File" could start Oct. 7, the 17th anniversary of the Fox News launch. AP

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