Breakaway with Kenny Rogers

Breakaway with Kenny Rogers

by Elizabeth Davies

So much to learn and enjoy on CBC Radio Quebec Community Network’s Breakaway. 
A great show, produced by Peter Black, hosted by Jacquie Czernin and covering the Gaspé to Abitibi, the Eastern Townships to the Lower North Shore.

Interesting topics on entertainment, the arts, sports, business, politics and more.

This show gives the English-speaking population a sense of belonging where we feel less isolated no matter what area we live in throughout the province.

Last Monday (November 29th) on Breakaway, Jacquie held a contest to win 2 tickets to see Kenny Rogers at Le Grand Théâtre de Québec on Saturday, December 4th

Entrants had to choose their favourite Kenny Rogers song and explain why!!

Being a fan for many years, I was stumped on which song to choose from such a panoply of hits this icon of country music has released.

After searching and listening to some of his greatist hits, I was literally struck by “Share Your Love With Me” from the album “Share Your Love” released in 1981. Memories began to pour! I decided to “share” my story; and as I was writing, I kept saying to myself- it’s kind of mushy – but it’s a true story and why not!

Lo and behold! I got the call on Wednesday from the Breakaway producer, Peter Black, announcing that I was the lucky winner of the tickets to see Kenny Rogers!! There was a twist attached though… I had to read my story on air during the show!!! As an ESL tutor and a tour guide accustomed to speaking before groups, I was totally caught off guard. “Butterflies in the stomach” is putting it mildly!!  So after all, I did share my love and haven’t regretted since!The show itself, celebrating Kenny 50-year career was very warm and friendly with a team of 8 musicians.

The first part was mainly his biggest hits; he would interact with the audience and tease us with little anecdotes of his terrible French. He even attempted to sing a French song called “Jolie Blonde”-we easily distinguished that it was better that he sing in English!! 

One of Kenny’s own favourites is “ She Believes in Me” – this was appreciated by all of us in the building.

He had the audience singing to “Lucille”. He had a lady in the front row sing the French version of the refrain:“you picked a bad time to leave me, Lucille!”

We were introduced to a talented songwriter, Billy Dean, who entertained us with his beautiful song: “Let Them Be Little”. It is so evident this man has strong family values!

The second half of the show was his Christmas Classics where Kenny talked to us about his very religious upbringing.

He explained the origins of “Oh Holy Night”; also how “Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire was written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells on a scorching hot day in Palm Springs! Kenny was then joined by Billie Dean, a choir and children to completely put us into a festive mood.

Kenny Rogers has aged, no doubt, but he remains one of country music’s finest; and I feel privileged to have been part of his 50th Anniversary Show.

I took one of the great man’s LPs along in the hope of getting it autographed!

During the intermission,  I threw caution to the wind and asked one of the agents if I could meet Kenny and get my almost 30-year old album signed. He told me it might be bit complicated, but he would see what he could do. I was told that I couldn’t see Kenny, but they would send the album to one of his crew members. At the end of the show, my album was returned to me signed by Kenny Rogers!

Merci au personnel du Grand Théâte de Québec! Thank you Breakaway and thank you Kenny!

Here is my winning story:

Hi Jacquie,

I have been touched by many Kenny Rogers songs and it has been an extremely difficult choice to choose only one.  Here goes:  My favourite Kenny Rogers song is “Share your love with me” (I bought the LP album years ago and it is excellent!)

I would like to dedicate the song to my present day husband, Claude. 

In 1985, my first husband, Mario, drowned on a fishing trip north of Quebec City.

I was left alone with two young children,Wayne and Shannen. Just a couple weeks later, I met Claude. He had a buggy for sale and at the time I had a pony, so I stopped to ask for the price.

He could see my grieving eyes and later came by to make sure the buggy was the right size for my pony.
And so our story began there!

It was love at first sight for him, but I was pretty numb then. However, he kept coming around  to visit me, and we would listen to music.

Kenny Rogers was one of our favourite singers.  We went to a Kenny Rogers show in 1986 at the Colisée de Québec.

One evening, as we were listening to Kenny’s album, Claude dedicated the song “Share Your Love With Me” to me, and said that the lyrics of this song expressed exactly how he felt!   My heart blossomed like a rose!

We married in 1989, and he took on a heavy responsibility with my two young children who now consider him Dad. We had a little girl, Jennica, which just knitted the whole family together!!
story and photos by Elizabeth Davies.

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