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Porter Wayne Wagoner (August 12, 1927 – October 28, 2007) was an American country music singer known for his flashy Nudie and Manuel suits and blond pompadour. In 1967, he introduced singer Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
on his television show, and they were a well-known vocal duo throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s. Known as Mr. Grand Ole Opry, Wagoner charted 81 singles from 1954–1983. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
in 2002.

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Early life and career 1.2 Chart success 1.3 Television series 1.4 The Wagonmasters

1.4.1 1961 1.4.2 Mid 1960s 1.4.3 After 1974

1.5 Later work 1.6 Family 1.7 Death

2 Legacy 3 In popular culture 4 Discography 5 Awards 6 References 7 External links

Biography[edit] Early life and career[edit] Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri, the son of Bertha May (née Bridges) and Charles E. Wagoner, a farmer.[1] His first band, the Blue Ridge Boys, performed on radio station KWPM-AM from a butcher shop in his native West Plains, Missouri, where Wagoner cut meat. In 1951, he was hired by Si Siman
Si Siman
as a performer on KWTO in Springfield, Missouri.[2] This led to a contract with RCA Victor. With lagging sales, Wagoner and his trio played schoolhouses for the gate proceeds; but in 1953, his song "Trademark" became a hit for Carl Smith, followed by a few hits of his own for RCA Victor. Starting in 1955, he was a featured performer on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee
Ozark Jubilee
in Springfield, Missouri. He often appeared on the show as part of the Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
Trio with Don Warden and Speedy Haworth. Warden, on steel guitar, became Wagoner's long-time business manager. In 1957, Wagoner and Warden moved to Nashville, Tennessee, joining the Grand Ole Opry.[2] Like many of his contemporaries in country music, Wagoner toured and performed outdoors for fans at American Legion houses in rural towns. Fans sat on wooden benches facing what was often a makeshift stage. Wagoner would mingle with the audience during performance breaks and usually remembered the names of the towns he visited. Chart success[edit] Wagoner's 81 charted records include "A Satisfied Mind" (No. 1, 1955), “Misery Loves Company” (No. 1, 1962), “I've Enjoyed as Much of This as I Can Stand” (No. 7, 1962–1963), “Sorrow on the Rocks” (No. 5, 1964), “Green, Green Grass of Home” (No. 4, 1965), “Skid Row Joe” (No. 3, 1965–1966), “The Cold Hard Facts of Life” (No. 2, 1967), and “The Carroll County Accident” (No. 2, 1968–1969). Among his hit duets with Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
were a cover of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind" (1967), "We'll Get Ahead Someday" (1968), "Just Someone I Used to Know" (1969), "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man", (1970), "Better Move it on Home" (1971), "The Right Combination" (1972), "Please Don't Stop Loving Me" (No. 1, 1974) and "Making Plans" (No. 2, 1980). He also won three Grammy Awards
Grammy Awards
for gospel recordings. Television series[edit]

Wagoner and Dolly Parton, 1969

His syndicated television program, The Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
Show, aired from 1960 to 1981. There were 686 30-minute episodes taped; the first 104 (1960–66) in black-and-white and the remainder (1966–81) in color. At its peak, his show was featured in over 100 markets, with an average viewership of over three million.[citation needed] Reruns of the program air on the rural cable network RFD-TV
RFD-TV
and its sister channel in the UK Rural TV. The shows usually featured opening performances by Wagoner with performances by Norma Jean, or later Parton, and comedic interludes by Speck Rhodes. During Parton's tenure, she and Wagoner usually sang a duet. Each episode also featured a guest who would usually perform one or two songs. A spiritual or gospel performance was almost always featured toward the end of the show; generally performed by either Wagoner or Parton, or the show's guest star, or occasionally the entire cast. After Dolly left the show, Porter began taping the show at Opryland USA
Opryland USA
in various locations around the park. The shows had a friendly, informal feel, with Wagoner trading jokes with band members (frequently during songs) and exchanging banter with Parton and Howser. In 1974, Dolly Parton's song "I Will Always Love You", written about her professional break from Wagoner, went to number one on the country music charts.[3] Wagoner's stage alter ego was Skid Row Joe. The cast included:

Singer Norma Jean (1960–1965) Singer Jeannie Seely
Jeannie Seely
(1965–1966) Singer Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
(1966–1974) Singer Barbara Lea (1974–1976) Singer Linda Carol Moore (1976–1978) Singer Mel Tillis
Mel Tillis
(1968 regular) Comedian/stand-up bass Curly Harris (1960–mid-60s) Announcer Don Howser

The Wagonmasters[edit] 1961[edit]

Don Warden on steel guitar "Little" Jack Little on fiddle Benny Williams on banjo and guitar (1961) Speck Rhodes Comedian/stand-up bass

Mid 1960s[edit]

Buck Trent on banjo and guitar George McCormick on rhythm guitar Mack Magaha on fiddle Ray Downs on rhythm guitar and vocal Michael Treadwell on bass guitar

After 1974[edit]

Bruce Osborn - lead guitar Fred Newell on banjo/guitar/mandolin Dave Kirby on guitar Stu Basore on steel guitar/dobro Bobby Dyson on bass Jerry Carrigan on drums Mack Magaha on fiddle

Later work[edit] Wagoner brought James Brown
James Brown
to the Grand Ole Opry, produced a rhythm & blues album for Joe Simon, and appeared in the Clint Eastwood film Honkytonk Man.[4] During the mid-1980s, Wagoner formed an all-girl group, The Right Combination, named after one of his hit records with Parton. He also hosted Opry Backstage during the 1990s on The Nashville Network. Though Parton's departure caused some animosity on both sides, the two reconciled in the late 1980s and appeared together a number of times in the following years; Parton inducted Wagoner into the Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
in 2002. Wagoner made a guest appearance on the HBO comedy series Da Ali G Show in 2004, its second season, interviewed by Borat Sagdiyev. On July 14, 2006, he underwent surgery for an abdominal aneurysm.[citation needed] Wagoner was honored on May 19, 2007 at the Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
for both his 50 years of membership and his 80th birthday. It was telecast on GAC's Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
Live that day with artists including Parton, Stuart and Patty Loveless. Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry
Live host Nan Kelley was part of the birthday celebration as well. On June 5, 2007, Wagoner released his final album called Wagonmaster. The album was produced by Marty Stuart
Marty Stuart
for the Anti- label. The album received the best reviews of Wagoner's career and briefly charted on the country charts; a music video was also produced of one of the tracks, a cover of Johnny Cash's "Committed to Parkview". He toured during the summer of 2007 to promote the album, including a late-July appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. One of these was to open for the rock group The White Stripes
The White Stripes
at a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Family[edit] Wagoner was married twice, to Velma Johnson for less than a year in 1943; and then to Ruth Olive Williams from 1946 to 1986, though they separated 20 years before the divorce. He was survived by his three children, Richard, Denise and Debra.[5] Death[edit] Until his final illness, Wagoner appeared regularly on the Grand Ole Opry and toured actively. He died from lung cancer[6] in Nashville on October 28, 2007, with his family and Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
at his side.[7] Wagoner's funeral was held November 1, 2007, at the Grand Ole Opry House. He is buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Woodlawn Memorial Park Cemetery
in Nashville. Legacy[edit]

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Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton
performed a concert at her theme park Dollywood
Dollywood
in Wagoner's memory after his death. Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
Boulevard in his native West Plains, Missouri, is named in his honor. In 2013, the television show Drunk History
Drunk History
presented a brief summary of Wagoner's relationship with Parton.

In popular culture[edit]

In 2009, Lily Allen
Lily Allen
used clips of Wagoner and his show in the music video for her song, "Not Fair".[8]

Discography[edit] Main articles: Porter Wagoner discography and Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
and Dolly Parton discography Awards[edit]

Year Award Awards Notes

2007 WagonMaster Award Americana Music Association

2002 Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame Country Music Hall of Fame

1998 Living Legend TNN/Music City News

1971 Vocal Duo of the Year CMA with Dolly Parton

1970 Vocal Duo of the Year CMA with Dolly Parton

1970 Vocal Duet of the Year Music City News Country with Dolly Parton

1969 Vocal Duet of the Year Music City News Country with Dolly Parton

1969 Best Gospel Performance Grammy

1968 Vocal Duet of the Year Music City News Country with Dolly Parton

1968 Vocal Group of the Year CMA with Dolly Parton

1967 Best Gospel Performance Grammy

1966 Best Sacred Recording (Musical) Grammy

References[edit]

^ "Who is Porter Wagoner, and what sort of influence did he have on the music scene?". eNotes.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.  ^ a b Eng, Steve (1992), A Satisfied Mind: the Country Music Life of Porter Wagoner, Rutledge Hill Press, ISBN 1-55853-133-5  ^ "Error - washingtonpost.com". 3 November 2012. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ Eng, Steve. (1998). "Porter Wagoner". In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Editor. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 565–6. ^ [1][dead link] ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2007-10-21.  ^ " Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
Memorial Services Set". CMT.com. 2007-10-28. Retrieved 2016-10-06.  ^ " Lily Allen
Lily Allen
- Not Fair". YouTube. 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 

External links[edit]

Wagoner albums and photos Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
at the Country Music Hall of Fame Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
obituary in The New York Times "Porter Wagoner". Find a Grave. Retrieved November 29, 2013. 

v t e

Members of the Grand Ole Opry

Roy Acuff Trace Adkins David "Stringbean" Akeman Bill Anderson Jack Anglin Eddy Arnold Ernest Ashworth Chet Atkins DeFord Bailey Bobby Bare Bashful Brother Oswald Humphrey Bate Dierks Bentley Binkley Brothers' Dixie Clodhoppers Clint Black Margie Bowes Rod Brasfield Garth Brooks Jim Ed Brown The Browns Carl Butler and Pearl Archie Campbell Bill Carlisle Martha Carson The Carter Sisters Maybelle Carter Johnny Cash June Carter Cash Roy Clark Terri Clark Zeke Clements Patsy Cline Jerry Clower John Conlee Stoney Cooper Wilma Lee Cooper Cowboy Copas Dailey & Vincent Charlie Daniels Skeeter Davis The Delmore Brothers The DeZurik Sisters Diamond Rio Little Jimmy Dickens Joe Diffie Danny Dill Jimmy Driftwood Roy Drusky The Duke of Paducah Holly Dunn The Everly Brothers Lester Flatt Red Foley Curly Fox Lefty Frizzell Larry Gatlin Crystal Gayle Don Gibson Vince Gill Billy Grammer Jack Greene The Gully Jumpers Theron Hale Tom T. Hall George Hamilton IV Sid Harkreader Emmylou Harris Hawkshaw Hawkins George D. Hay Hoot Hester Goldie Hill David Houston Jan Howard Ferlin Husky Alan Jackson Stonewall Jackson Sonny James Chris Janson Norma Jean Jim & Jesse Johnnie & Jack George Jones Grandpa Jones The Jordanaires Doug Kershaw Hal Ketchum Bradley Kincaid Pee Wee King Alison Krauss Little Big Town Hank Locklin Lonzo and Oscar Bobby Lord The Louvin Brothers Charlie Louvin Ira Louvin Patty Loveless Bob Luman Loretta Lynn Uncle Dave Macon Rose Maddox Barbara Mandrell Kerry Marx Martina McBride Del McCoury Mel McDaniel Reba McEntire McGee Brothers Jesse McReynolds Ronnie Milsap Bill Monroe Montgomery Gentry Craig Morgan George Morgan Lorrie Morgan Moon Mullican Willie Nelson Jimmy C. Newman The Oak Ridge Boys Old Crow Medicine Show Osborne Brothers Brad Paisley Dolly Parton Johnny Paycheck Minnie Pearl Stu Phillips Webb Pierce Ray Pillow Ray Price Charley Pride Jeanne Pruett Rascal Flatts Del Reeves Jim Reeves Riders in the Sky Tex Ritter Marty Robbins Darius Rucker Johnny Russell Rusty and Doug Earl Scruggs Jeannie Seely Blake Shelton Ricky Van Shelton Jean Shepard Ricky Skaggs Mississippi Slim Carl Smith Connie Smith Fiddlin' Arthur Smith Mike Snider Hank Snow Red Sovine Ralph Stanley Marty Stuart Texas Ruby B. J. Thomas Uncle Jimmy Thompson Mel Tillis Pam Tillis Tompall & the Glaser Brothers Randy Travis Travis Tritt Ernest Tubb Justin Tubb Josh Turner Carrie Underwood Keith Urban Leroy Van Dyke Porter Wagoner Billy Walker Charlie Walker Steve Wariner Kitty Wells Dottie West The Whites Slim Whitman The Wilburn Brothers Don Williams Hank Williams Boxcar Willie The Willis Brothers Chubby Wise Del Wood Marion Worth Johnnie Wright Tammy Wynette Trisha Yearwood Chris Young Faron Young

v t e

Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
2000s

Charley Pride
Charley Pride
(2000) Faron Young
Faron Young
(2000) Bill Anderson (2001) The Delmore Brothers (2001) The Everly Brothers
The Everly Brothers
(2001) Don Gibson
Don Gibson
(2001) Homer and Jethro
Homer and Jethro
(2001) Waylon Jennings
Waylon Jennings
(2001) The Jordanaires
The Jordanaires
(2001) Don Law (2001) The Louvin Brothers
The Louvin Brothers
(2001) Ken Nelson (2001) Sam Phillips
Sam Phillips
(2001) Webb Pierce
Webb Pierce
(2001) Bill Carlisle
Bill Carlisle
(2002) Porter Wagoner
Porter Wagoner
(2002) Floyd Cramer
Floyd Cramer
(2003) Carl Smith (2003) Jim Foglesong (2004) Kris Kristofferson
Kris Kristofferson
(2004) Alabama (2005) DeFord Bailey
DeFord Bailey
(2005) Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell
(2005) Harold Bradley (2006) Sonny James
Sonny James
(2006) George Strait
George Strait
(2006) Ralph Emery (2007) Vince Gill
Vince Gill
(2007) Mel Tillis
Mel Tillis
(2007) Tom T. Hall
Tom T. Hall
(2008) Emmylou Harris
Emmylou Harris
(2008) The Statler Brothers (2008) Ernest Stoneman
Ernest Stoneman
(2008) Roy Clark
Roy Clark
(2009) Barbara Mandrell
Barbara Mandrell
(2009) Charlie McCoy
Charlie McCoy
(2009)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 44453530 LCCN: n92012105 ISNI: 0000 0001 1631 6008 GND: 119124181 SELIBR: 299331 BNF: cb13494519w (data) BIBSYS: 6023896 MusicBrainz: 942123a3-df28-463f-9f6e-202b69b8e253 BNE: XX1156

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