Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Porter Wagoner

I just wanted to take a moment and remember Porter Wagoner, who was born on August 12, 1927. Porter passed away on October 28, 2007, at the age of 80 from lung cancer. Porter joined the Grand Ole Opry on February 23, 1957 and was an Opry member until his death. His last Opry appearance was on Tuesday October 9, 2007, less than a month before he passed away. On Saturday May 19, 2007, Porter was honored for his 50th anniversary as an Opry member during that night's show.

Porter had a truly amazing career in country music. During the course of his career he had 81 singles that were on the charts Among his most famous songs were number one hits, "A Satisfied Mind", "Misery Loves Company", along with "The Cold Hard Facts of Life", "The Carroll County Accident", and "I've Enjoyed As Much of This As I Can Stand". Another one of his big hits that he sang reguarly on the Opry was, "Green, Green Grass of Home".

His Porter Wagoner television show was on the air from 1960 to 1981, and can still be seen on the RFD network today. The performers that toured with Porter, and whom he help started their careers included Norma Jean, Mel Tillis, Speck Rhodes, Buck Trent, Patty Loveless, Jeannie Seely and of course, Dolly Parton, who had numerous duets with.

Porter was famous for inviting James Brown to appear on the Opry. After his break up with Dolly Parton, he formed an all-female group, "The Right Combination". He was also one of the innovators in country music, and at one time owned his own recording studio, Fireside.

Porter and Dolly had a very public break up in the late 1970's, and their final duet, which was recorded prior to their break up, "Making Plans", was a number two hit in 1980. After a number of years of lawsuits and public comments made about each other, Porter and Dolly reconciled in the late 1980's, and appeared several times together after that, including on the Opry. When Porter was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002, Dolly was the one who inducted him during the annual CMA awards show.

His final album, "Wagonmaster", was released in June 2007. It was produced by Marty Stuart and the album is considered on of Porter's best albums of his career.

In honor of Porter Wagoner's birthday, I wanted to post the Grand Ole Opry line-up from Saturday May 19, 2007, the night Porter was honored for 50 years of Opry membership.

6:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); The Whites; Jeannie Seely
7:00: Marty Stuart(host); Patty Loveless; Opry Square Dancers; Dolly Parton; Porter Wagoner
8:00: John Conlee(host); Jimmy C. Newman; Connie Smith
8:30: Mike Snider(host); Jean Shepard; Mel Tillis

9:30: Jimmy Dickens(host); The Whites; John Conlee; Mike Snider
10:00: Marty Stuart(host); Patty Loveless; Opry Square Dancers; Dolly Parton; Porter Wagoner
11:00: Jean Shepard(host); Connie Smith; Mel Tillis

Porter was honored on both shows, and Buck Trent was part of Marty's band that night.


  1. Thanks for remembering Ol' Slicknickel. He's another legend who had to wait far too long to go into the Hall of Fame, and he truly loved the Opry and stuck with it. I'll never forget the time on Nashville Now a woman called in and said her name was Dolly. He said, "What did you say your name was?" absolutely deadpan. She repeated it. He said, "I knew someone named Dolly once." I didn't think Ralph Emery would be able to continue the show after that.

  2. I remember that show. Thanks for sharing the memory of it.

  3. Porter did not appear at the Opry that night. He was on the bill but it was announced that he was ill and would not be able to perform. I was there and sitting center section front row. I remember because it was my honeymoon and a surprise for my wife to see Carrie Underwood for the first time.