Country-and-western music legends Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers are unlikely ever to share a stage again, but fans of the genre in the Borders are being offered a chance to see the next best thing tomorrow, September 6.
The US duo enjoyed a worldwide smash in 1983 with the classic Islands in the Stream, a No. 7 hit written by Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, of Bee Gees fame.
Though Tennessee-born Parton, 73, is still going strong, Texan Rogers, 81, was forced to retire from live performances last year after suffering a series of health scares.
Country music lovers here are in for a treat this week, however, as Galashiels Volunteer Hall is hosting Sarah Jayne’s Dolly Parton tribute act and numerous other impersonators of similar ilk.
It features a series of lookalike and soundalike tributes to some of the biggest stars of country, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Tammy Wynette, Billy Jo Spears, John Denver and Garth Brooks.
One of the show’s highlights is a performance by Kent-born Sarah Jayne, a Parton impersonator for 25 of her 43 years, and her husband Andy Crust offering his take on Rogers.
The pair, co-hosts of the show, had the privilege of being name-checked on Rogers’ own website as ‘Europe’s leading Dolly and Kenny impersonators’.
Hits featured include Rogers’ Coward of the County and numerous Parton classics, notably Nine to Five, Coat of Many Colours, I Will Always Love You and Jolene.
Sarah Jayne, asked by Parton to perform for her VIP guests on two world tours, said: “I’ve always loved Dolly Parton. I think she’s a great role model to people of all ages, from being a successful performer and fun-loving theme park owner to a successful businesswoman and philanthropist.
“I have a job that most people dream of – travelling the world and bringing joy to many people and I can honestly say I get to live that dream every week.
“I’m really looking forward to performing in Galashiels. I’ve heard that the Borders people really love country music and a great night out, so saddle up and we will see you on Friday, September 6.”
Olly Robertson, area manager at Live Borders, said: “The country superstars came to the Borders last year and were such a hit that we can’t wait to have them back.”
Tickets cost £18 or £20. For details, call 01896 754751, or log on to thelittleboxoffice.com/bordersevents