October 11

Remembering The Death of Porter Wagoner, The Brightest Grand Ole Opry Star

On October 28, 2007, Porter Wagoner died after a long battle with lung cancer. His publicity agent announced his death, which came following several days of hospitalization at Alive Hospice facility. He died with his family – along with his best friend, Dolly Parton – at his side. He was 80.

A Fixture Of The Grand Ole Opry For Over Half A Century

Porter Wagoner was most notably remembered for his flashy rhinestone suits, pompadour hairstyle, and irresistible stage presence. In 1957, he joined the Grand Ole Opry and soon enough became the face of Nashville country for the countless fans who tuned to The Porter Wagoner Show. 

From the 1960s and 1970s, Wagoner was renowned for his duets with Dolly Parton – such as “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me” and “The Last Thing on My Mind.” The powerful duo was highly recognized, winning three awards from CMA Country Music Association.

While the partnership of Wagoner and Parton later turned sour, even ending up in a messy lawsuit, after going their separate ways “over creative differences,” the two had reconciled. Parton even visited her ailing former mentor and sang to him in his final moments. “It felt good that I had the opportunity to say goodbye properly,” she said, adding that Wagoner will always live through her music – after all, “he was my first big break.”

While Parton went on to find remarkable commercial success as a solo artist, Wagoner proved successful, too, in his own right. Porter Wagoner songs earned a string of awards, including several Grammys. His solo hits include “A Satisfied Mind,” “The Cold Hard Facts of Life,” and “Misery Loves Company.” In 2002, Wagoner was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

His influence is still widely acknowledged to this day. He will be greatly missed.


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