Sorry, Shrew, but this just has to happen. On Monday, October 29th, Porter Wagoner passed away at the age of 80, from lung cancer. A fixture on the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years, Wagoner ushered Country Music into homes each week through the Porter Wagoner Show. His humble manner and audacious “Nudie” suits became synonymous with stereotypical Country Music stars.
Earlier this year, Porter Wagoner released a new CD, Wagonmaster, to critical acclaim. He also opened for the White Stripes’ Madison Square Garden concert in NYC. Here’s a clip from Letterman:
Albert Irvin, with Marty Stuart
TODAY’S TRIVIA: Fellow Nudie Suit aficionado, Marty Stuart, produced Wagonmaster. In typical Country Music fashion, Marty was Johnny Cash’s ex-son-in-law.
Likely Porter Wagoner’s most famous affiliation was with Dolly Parton. They were duet partners for several years until Dolly left Porter’s employ to pursue a solo career – a move that would cost her $3 million a few years later. They still remained friends and held mutual admiration for each other.
Run That By Me One More Time, with Dolly Parton
Porter Wagoner was an original. He never wavered from who he was and was proud to be a Country & Western icon. He embraced his fame, even when he was parodied and scoffed at. He was a mentor and teacher to younger singers and was a bit of a rebel concerning the music industry.
In 2006, he ended up signing with the ANTI- label, part of Epiteph Records, notably not located in Nashville, but L.A. Appears even “icons” aren’t immune to the music industry’s shackles. Here’s a quote from Wagoner on why he stopped recording in the 80’s:
“I stopped making records because I didn’t like the way they were wanting me to record. When RCA dropped me from the label, I didn’t really care about making records for another label because I didn’t have any say in what they would release and how they would make the records and so forth.”
A true legend, Wagoner’s impact on Country Music is significant and long-lasting. He will be missed.
I’ll Fly Away