Porter Wagoner, RIP


Porter Wagoner—host of the Grand Ole Opry, discoverer of Dolly Parton, owner of the loudest rhinestone suits in Nashville—has died at age 80. I saw him play at the Opry a few years ago, and he was a consummate showman, a crowd-pleasing entertainer whose goofy jokes didn't obscure his talents as a musician. Rest in peace.

NEXT: Who Reports on the Reporters?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And now they’ll lay him ‘neath the green, green grass of home

  2. I am told that he opened for the White Stripes at MSG a while back and
    > was incredible. My mother worked in Country and Western bars in Denver
    > in the mid 1960s and met pretty much everyone from that era, Johnny
    > Cash, Porter Wagner, Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, Marty Robbins, the lot
    > of them. She said Porter Wagoner was by far the nicest of them. A real
    > gentleman. Johnny Cash was too stoned to really have much to say one
    > way or another and Conway Twitty was the biggest jerk she ever met in
    > her life.

  3. The album cover for “The Rubber Room” is quite haunting. He looks like he just murdered somebody, or as the euphemism goes, taught somebody the cold, hard facts of life.

  4. Yeah, RIP Porter Wagoner. I live in West Plains, Missouri where we have a street named after him, and he would come back to town every few years to be a grand marshall in a parade. I enjoyed watching the Porter Wagoner show when I was growing up. It was funny. Porter certainly helped launch Dolly’s career. When Porter and Dolly went their separate ways, Dolly was quoted as saying, “We split over creative differences, I was creative and Porter was different.” Somehow, I suspect the old man is smiling about that right about now.

  5. Jesse,
    As a fellow hillbilly, I appreciate your posting hillbilly items.
    I happened to see in the Nashville paper that Dolly visited Porter in the hospital shortly before he died.
    If you don’t mind, where in the Nashville area did you grow up? (Old Hickory for me. I also enjoyed that show.)

  6. Sorry Ruthless, you must have misunderstood me. I was referring to West Plains, Missouri from which Porter Wagoner hailed. The Porter Wagoner show, which I watched growing up, was on television in the small town in Missouri where I lived.

  7. ChuckG,
    As a hillbilly, I was ignorant of the fact the Porter show was broadcast as widely as you say it was.

  8. As a hillbilly, I was ignorant of the fact the Porter show was broadcast as widely as you say it was.

    Hell, I saw it in Detroit, MI. Loved those mammaries!

  9. Ruthless, I understand it was syndicated to 100 TV stations, I guess one of them had to be broadcasting to his hometown. I lived in an even smaller town north of West Plains. We had a black & white t.v. but my did those rhinestones glitter. And Dolly’s… oooowheeee.

  10. My Grandma Lotty Leona Wagoner was a first cusin to Porter,My Aunt that had just passed away in april confermed what my grandma had told us, Porter and my grandma favored some, Good Bye Cuzin Porter,we will see you again some day.

  11. Awhile back, the cemetary where his parents are buried was about to go under. Unlinke many, this cemetary does not charge people to be buried there or charge “rent” on the graveplot. It functions entirely on donations from the community. Although it’s in one of the poorest counties in the country, the cemetary board asked for even more donations from everyone who had family there. Many people who could not afford to give gave anyway, and eventually the cemetary was saved and is now a beautiful, even growing, emerald island in the middle of the woods on the Arkansas/Missouri state line.

    No thanks to Porter Wagoner, who never got back to them.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.