Kenny Rogers tribute artist Marty Edwards and Dolly Parton tribute artist Wendy Engler will perform in Penticton Nov. 16 at Clelland Community Theatre.                                Submitted

Kenny Rogers tribute artist Marty Edwards and Dolly Parton tribute artist Wendy Engler will perform in Penticton Nov. 16 at Clelland Community Theatre. Submitted

It’s not a gamble, Kenny and Dolly show sure to be a hit

Tribute artists performing in Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops

Kenny Rogers tribute artist Marty Edwards learned not to be a gambler with his health.

The Peachland performer now uses his platform to encourage men, specifically, to be screened for cancer.

Edwards, along with Dolly Parton tribute artist Wendy Engler, are set to perform a show of country classics and Christmas songs at the Cleland Theatre on Nov. 16.in Vernon Nov. 17, Kelowna Nov. 19, Kamloops Nov. 20, Williams Lake Nov. 21 and Prince George Nov. 22 Some of the proceeds from the night will be donated to the B.C. Cancer Foundation.

“I was fortunate. I think back on it and I was an idiot. I was 67 before I had my first colonoscopy,” he said.

The colonoscopy was done in January 2016 and it revealed Edwards had three spots of cancer and a blockage in his colon.

“Unfortunately the places were not close together and essentially they had to take all my colon. The six to eight weeks post surgery were brutal,” he said.

Although concerned about the cancer, Edwards was also worried he might lose his signature Kenny Rogers voice. During the surgery, he was intubated so there was risk his vocal chords could be damaged.

Although medical professionals were careful, it took two months for his voice to return.

“At eight weeks the recovery started to happen really fast. I had amazing surgeons, a lot of positive thoughts and prayers. The key really is that early detection.”

Edwards recently had a screening and he remains cancer free. He talks about his health scare during his shows.

“I just like to take the opportunity to get that message out there loud and clear that early detection is the best way to deal with these things,” he said.

Edwards, a lifelong entertainer who’s played in a number of bands over the years, started doing a Kenny Rogers tribute about 20 years ago. While working on an album of his own, Edwards was encouraged by a producer to try out the well-known Gambler, Lucille and Lady singer’s style. He certainly had the looks even then — white hair, white beard.

“He asked me if I ever thought about doing a Kenny Rogers tribute. I’d always sang his songs. I always enjoyed him and thought it was great music but I had never tried to emulate him,” he said.

After reading about a two-year-old child who died from neglect and abuse, Edwards and his wife decided to put on a benefit concert to raise money for children.

“I put the Kenny Rogers thing in for something different. I did three songs and it went over really well. We did the benefit for a number of years when I was living on the coast,” he said. “I worked at it and tried to get the look down a bit better and the mannerisms. My wife started sending out materials to agents and venues and it got to the point I turned down more work than I did.”

Edwards met Dolly tribute artist Engler about seven years ago while they were both doing a show in Michigan. At the time she was crooning the songs of Patsy Cline.

“A couple years later I asked her if she might be interested in doing Dolly. She thought it was a possibility but she was tied up doing Cher in Legends in Concert. After that was over, we were finally able to do something. It’s great. We have a great rapport on stage and we’re great friends off stage,” he said.

Edwards said there are different types of tribute artists — ones that do multiple people and others that just do one.

“When I’m not doing Kenny, I do myself,” he said. “I have a couple different shows I do. One is a salute to Tom Jones and Roy Orbison. I don’t have the look of them but it appeals to a certain demographic. My solo shows are 60s and 70s covers with a band.”

Edwards has met Kenny Rogers several times over the years and the iconic country western star is even a fan of his Facebook Page, Kinda Kenny Rogers.

“He’s been great to me. He told a New York City law firm that I was his favourite impersonator. That meant a lot to me,” he said.

Both the real Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton officially stopped performing in late October of this year.

“We’re really proud that we can keep their performances alive through our shows,” he said.

On Nov. 16 concert goers will be treated to a mix of classic Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton songs and duets and festive songs.

“I like to say to folks coming to the show that they’re going to hear all their favourite songs but the problem is there’s so many we can’t get them all into one show but there definitely will be many,” he said with a laugh.

Tickets are $48 for the show happening on Nov. 16 at Cleland Community Theatre. The pair will also perform at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Nov. 19. Ticket information can be found at https://theatre.kelowna.ca/upcoming-events/dolly-and-kenny-tribute

Tickets are available at etixnow.com or charge by phone 888-790-1477 or at the door.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m.

Just Posted

Scooters lined up for an educational event in Stuart Park on Wednesday, June 16. (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News)
Free e-scooter safety training in Kelowna

Shared e-scooter operators collaborate to educate riders

The suspect reportedly assaulted a security guard and robbed him. The incident happened at a Kelowna hotel. (Contributed)
Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Employees at Playtime Casino wait outside while firefighters inspect the building after a small storage room fire on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News).
Small fire at Kelowna’s Playtime Casino as staff preps to re-open

Fire ignited in the storage room, but the staff were able to put it out

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

A mother stands with her daughter, visiting senior parents but observing social distancing with a glass door between them.  The granddaughter puts her hand up to the glass, the grandfather and grandmother doing the same.  A small connection in a time of separation during the Covid-19 pandemic (Valley First/Contributed).
Have your say on which Okanagan, Thompson, Similkameen charities get donation

Valley First seeks public help to distribute $250,000 to local charities via social media campaign

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

Vernon Courthouse. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Sentencing delayed in North Okanagan child pornography case

Man who pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography will have new sentence date fixed next week

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

People decided to tag Skaha Bluffs rocks which the Ministry has to go in and now clean up. (Facebook)
Bluffs at popular Penticton rock climbing park defaced

Ministry of Environment is going to clean it up

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Most Read