October 29

The Wagonmaster and Mr. Grand Ole Opry, Porter Wagoner

Before Kenny Rogers’ name was associated to the legendary Dolly Parton, many people who do not go as far as 1960’s would never know that like any struggling or beginning artist that wanted to breakout the glitz and glamour of show business, Porter Wagoner is an essential part of the public knowing who Dolly Parton is. His long running TV show, The Porter Wagoner Show introduced a lesser-known Dolly Parton to the public and everyone, as expected, fell in love to the young songstress and continues to be head over heels to the ‘Jolene’ singer up until this moment. However, today, we would like to see what made Porter Wagoner a Country Music Hall of Famer and why he is a legend on his own right.

Porter Wagoner: Life, Career, Death

The earlier stages of Porter Wagoner’s career and life would tell you how Wagoner has been a TV screen darling. After a moderate success with his first band, Blue Ridge Boys, Porter Wagoner appeared on several TV gigs as a featured performer. In 1957, Wagoner together with his manager went to join the Grand Ole Opry after much television exposures.

The songs that he charted on top of charts include, ‘A Satisfied Mind’ (1955), ‘Misery Loves Company’ (1962) and ‘Green, Green Grass of Home’ (1965). While he had many country songs recorded, he also had 3 Grammy Awards won for his gospel recordings.

When Porter Wagoner is already an established country artist, his fame is even more celebrated and reached its peak when he starred in his syndicated TV program, The Porter Wagoner show. The friendly and informal theme of the show quickly won the hearts of audiences which therefore paved way to introduce many other artists such as Norma Jean, Jeannie Seely and the most successful, Dolly Parton.

After Parton left the show, it can be remembered that she penned ‘I Will Always Love You’ to detail her professional break up from Porter Wagoner.

When The Porter Wagoner show did not make the cut anymore for being a relevant TV show, Wagoner still made a huge impact in the country music. He brought James Brown in Grand Ole Opry and had a guest appearance in talk shows and TV series. Before his death, his last album ‘Wagonmaster’ produced the highest praise in his musical career. On top of that, he still had a regular appearance in Grand Ole Opry even if declining health is in the way.

Ultimately, Wagoner died of lung cancer in October 28 2007 but his legacy still satisfied the minds of those who witnessed his brilliance.

Watch one of his music videos below:


Grand Ole Opry, porter wagoner, Wagonmaster

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