Country Star Dies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Porter Wagoner was known for a string of
country hits in the '60s, perennial appearances at the Grand Ole Opry in his trademark rhinestone suits, and for launching the career of Dolly Parton.

Like many older performers, his star had faded in recent years. But his death from lung cancer Sunday, at 80, came only after a remarkable late-career revival that won him a new generation of fans.

The Missouri-born Wagoner signed with RCA Records in 1955 and joined the Opry in 1957, "the greatest place in the world to have a career in country music," he said in 1997. His showmanship, suits and pompadoured hair made him famous.

He had his own syndicated TV show, "The Porter Wagoner Show," for 21 years beginning in 1960. It was one of the first syndicated shows to come out of Nashville and set a pattern for many others.

"Some shows are mechanical, but ours was not polished and slick," he said in 1982.

Among his hits, many of which he wrote or co-wrote, were "Carroll County Accident," "A Satisfied Mind," "Company's Comin'," "Skid Row Joe," "Misery Loves Company" and "Green Green Grass of Home."

The songs often told stories of tragedy or despair. In "Carroll County Accident," a married man having an affair is killed in a car crash; "Skid Row Joe" deals with a once-famous singer who's lost everything.

In 2002, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

To many music fans, Wagoner was best known as the man who boosted Parton's career. He had hired the 21-year-old singer as his duet partner in 1967, when she was just beginning to gain notice through songs such as "Dumb Blonde."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 30, 2007 at 05:46 AM
    One of last true "gentlemen" in country music. Always well dressed and extremely polite. Not only was he a great country singer but he seemed to live to please those who thought so much of him.
  • by Darlene Location: KY on Oct 30, 2007 at 04:31 AM
    Another sad loss in Country Music, this guy's was real country. He is there in Heavens Band along witht he other country music greats, I was born in the 60's and this music is all I ever listened to. May you rest in peach and many prayers to your family in this time of loss.
  • by brandon sumner Location: vicco ky on Oct 29, 2007 at 02:19 PM
    sorry for your loss he was a great man i loved to hear him sing with the great patty loveless they made a great team
  • by S Location: Pike Co. on Oct 29, 2007 at 12:29 PM
    R.I.P Porter, you will be in our heart's forever. My heart goes out to Porter's family, especially his wonderful daughter DJ.
  • by ky Location: ky on Oct 29, 2007 at 09:24 AM
    a great loss to old country music,bless his family and friends.
  • by Gene Location: Morehead on Oct 29, 2007 at 07:37 AM
    Porter was one of the really great country singers. Most of his songs are about real life and real life problems. Like too much drinking and the sad results. Porter will be missed.


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