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It's good to touch the green green grass of home
October 29, 2007 12:47 PM   Subscribe

Porter Wagoner has gone to his reward.

Known for his flashy suits and lurid songs, Porter Wagoner was a force in country music for decades. As the rhinestone studded host of the Porter Wagoner show, he brought us performances by young up-and-comers like Waylon Jennings, Jerry Reed and Merle Haggard, and introduced the Dolly Parton. The acrimony following her departure from the show inspired her classic song I Will Always Love You. Although he was in ill health, he released Wagonmaster last year, which became his critically best received album.
posted by smartyboots (41 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
He led a long full life. I can remember watching the show at my grandma's house on Saturdays (yeah, she watched Hee Haw afterward). He was a wonderful showman in wonderful Nudie suits. RIP.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:50 PM on October 29, 2007


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posted by The Card Cheat at 12:53 PM on October 29, 2007


"One of Porter Wagoner's signature Nudie suits."
posted by pracowity at 12:57 PM on October 29, 2007


Reruns of the Porter Wagoner Show still appear on the RFDTV network (on some US satellite providers).
posted by horsemuth at 12:58 PM on October 29, 2007


"The Cold Hard Facts Of Life" is one of the most chilling songs I've ever heard.

RIP, Porter.
posted by jonmc at 1:04 PM on October 29, 2007


Every Saturday. Next to my Grandfather on the couch. 6:00--Hee Haw at 6:30.

I ended up being a bigger Buck Owens fan, though.
posted by sourwookie at 1:07 PM on October 29, 2007


As mentioned in the post, Porter gave the world Dolly Parton, who had, prior to joining his show, floundered in an almost career of penning songs and recording bubblegum pop that didn't crack the top 100, and that alone would have gained Mr. Wagoner access to heaven.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:16 PM on October 29, 2007


D'oh! That should be "introduced the nation to Dolly Parton".

I watch The Porter Wagoner Show on RFD tv every week. The man was a great entertainer.
posted by smartyboots at 1:17 PM on October 29, 2007


"Where'd ya git them tals, Porter?"
posted by Floydd at 1:19 PM on October 29, 2007


Last night, after watching the Sox win the Series, I checked CNN before I went to bed and saw this.

The moral of the story: go to bed on a high note. RIP, the Thin Man from West Plains.
posted by bobot at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2007


er, that should be "Don't check the news. Go to bed on a high note."
posted by bobot at 1:31 PM on October 29, 2007


RIP Porter. Here's one of his last tunes, penned by Johnny Cash: Committed to Parkview
posted by First Post at 1:32 PM on October 29, 2007


.
posted by echolalia67 at 1:33 PM on October 29, 2007


.

The newspaper here in Nashville had been reporting on it all week. Last thing I saw was "hospice" in an article, and that was about it until this morning's headline.
posted by jquinby at 1:39 PM on October 29, 2007


DAMN IT!

I remember my dad used to send us reel to reel tapes from Vietnam rather than letters. Occasionally loneliness and sentiment would get the better of him and you could hear it in his voice (that, and the whiskey) and when it would get to be to much for him he would break out in a spontaneous rendition of "The Green Green Grass of Home." We would giggle becuase we thought, as kids, he was being silly.

My mom would shoo us out of the room. And she would sit there and pet the side of that tape player and cry.


.
posted by tkchrist at 1:46 PM on October 29, 2007 [11 favorites]


He was interviewed by Borat on his HBO show. But Porter came off looking great. Too cool for you Borat. FAIL!
posted by vronsky at 2:01 PM on October 29, 2007


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posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:08 PM on October 29, 2007


Hes wearing rhinestone in the great Rubber Room in the sky.
Goodnight Porter.

.
posted by Sailormom at 2:09 PM on October 29, 2007


No Videos found for 'halo of flies rubber room'
posted by 3.2.3 at 2:29 PM on October 29, 2007


""I Will Always Love You" was first released as a single in 1974 by Dolly Parton who composed

this song to her singing partner, Porter Wagner. At the time Porter and Dolly were splitting and Dolly was going to go solo, she wrote this song as a final goodbye to Porter. People play this song at weddings and use it to express their love for someone, when in reality this song is about separation."

Rest in Peace

.
posted by UseyurBrain at 2:39 PM on October 29, 2007


“...and that alone would have gained Mr. Wagoner access to heaven.”

Or more likely, denied him entry.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:41 PM on October 29, 2007


I hope you realize your post lead to a cascade of watching old time country music videos on youtube. Another day claimed...

Oh, and

.
posted by telstar at 2:46 PM on October 29, 2007


Rest easy, Porter. A Missouri boy who done good-- I'll be thinking of you the next time I drive down Porter Waggoner Boulevard in West Plains.

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posted by F Mackenzie at 2:48 PM on October 29, 2007


I wonder if they will bury him in one of his famous Nudie Suits ?
posted by vronsky at 2:49 PM on October 29, 2007


Ethereal Bligh, pistols at dawn.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:08 PM on October 29, 2007


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posted by p3t3 at 3:24 PM on October 29, 2007


The first time I saw Porter, I was a little tot, and he and Dolly were hawking laundry detergent: "You can't buy 'em. You can only get 'em in boxes of Breeze." What a beautifully surreal sight they were in all those spangles, waxing poetic about cheap hand towels in the gulch of local daytime TV.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:34 PM on October 29, 2007


Aaah, that's too bad. He should've made it to at least 90 or so, and made another 5 albums.

RIP, Porter.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:38 PM on October 29, 2007


Coincidentally, his old guitarist, Benjamin H. "Benny" Williams<>Here's a vid of some of his fine picking.

I love this bit of the obit.

One (tabloid headline) asserted that Mr. Wagoner’s wife had found him and Ms. Parton in bed and shot both.

“There wasn’t nothing to that,” Mr. Wagoner said “with a wink” in an interview with The Tennessean in 2000. “She didn’t even hit Dolly.”

posted by wsg at 4:00 PM on October 29, 2007


Man, I screwed that post up. Sorry about that. It was supposed to say:

Coincidentally, his old guitarist, Benjamin H. "Benny" Williams died earlier this month on Oct. 16. Here's a vid of some of his fine picking.
posted by wsg at 4:04 PM on October 29, 2007


The ONLY thing I miss about DirecTV is that RFD-TV, "Rural America's Television Network" was on it and showed old episodes of the Porter Wagoner show. So good. Oh so good.

I've never done this before, but

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posted by dirtdirt at 4:22 PM on October 29, 2007


Brief analysis of and lyrics to Porter's infamous ballad, The Rubber Room.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:23 PM on October 29, 2007


I always thought getting to nail a young Dolly Parton was his reward.

Ah, well.

.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:23 PM on October 29, 2007


Flowers On The Wall The Statler Brothers on the Porter Wagoner show.
posted by vronsky at 4:28 PM on October 29, 2007


My mom grew up outside Poplar Bluff, Missouri, so she's a big fan of Mr. Wagoner's "40 Miles From Poplar Bluff."
posted by kirkaracha at 4:43 PM on October 29, 2007


That comment actually choked me up a little tk. OK a lot. (My dad wasn't in Vietnam but he travelled overseas often and he sent us reel to reel tapes too.)
posted by vronsky at 5:09 PM on October 29, 2007


Every Saturday. Next to my Grandfather on the couch. 6:00--Hee Haw at 6:30.

well....it was Porter at 5:30, Hee Haw at six, and then down to the basement to light a fire in the Franklin and listen to the Opry on as many AM radios I could muster....but same boogie.

,
posted by timsteil at 6:32 PM on October 29, 2007


A special feature on most was the word “Hi!” in foot-high letters on each side of the lining. He would throw the jacket open when he saw somebody snapping his picture.

Much more classy than so many of today's celebrities, whose reaction is "the finger".
posted by Tube at 7:22 PM on October 29, 2007


Run That By Me One More Time,
to make sure that I heard you right, I hope you don' expect me to believe that lie.

Dang.

Thanks for the tuneage Porter and for the most memorable duets with Dolly. Those were truly the best. So many I won't start...

Although this summer, I played The Carroll County Accident for my 17 yr old niece, she liked it. Too cool.
posted by alicesshoe at 8:23 PM on October 29, 2007


"The Cold Hard Facts Of Life" is one of the most chilling songs I've ever heard.

Amen, brother. A guy gets home from a business trip a day early, heads to a store to get a bottle of wine to surprise his wife, and...

A stranger stood there laughing by the counter
He said I'll take two bottles of your best
Her husband's out of town and there's a party
He winked as if to say you know the rest
I left the store two steps behind the stranger
From there to my house his car stayed in sight
But it wasn't till he turned into my drive that I learned
I was witnessing the cold hard facts of life


It's the screaming and crying as he kills them with his knife that really gets you.

He had so many great songs, with Dolly and without.

.
posted by mediareport at 7:39 AM on October 30, 2007


Yep, Porter Wagoner at 6:00, then Hee-Haw at 6:30. Those were the Saturday nights of my youth at my grandparents' house, too. Great songwriter and a fine country gentleman.

.
posted by scody at 6:20 PM on October 30, 2007


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