1927 - 2007
Porter Wagoner was born Aug. 12, 1927, in West Plains, Mo. He grew up helping out on the family farm and got his first guitar from his older brother, Glenn, who passed away at a young age. Porter became determined to carry on his brother's love for music.
In 1957, he joined the cast
of the Grand Ole Opry and celebrated his 50th anniversary with the show in
spring of 2007.
He eventually became the radio show's public ambassador of sorts, being called "Mr.Grand Ole Opry".
"I don't try to show off a so-called beautiful voice, because I don't feel my voice is beautiful,"
"I believe there is a different kind of beauty, the beauty of being honest, of being yourself, of singing like you feel it."
He was known for his flashy, custom-made stage suits that cost thousands of dollars. He sometimes joked that the suits forced him to stay thin, saying he couldn't afford to replace them.
"He was a masterful
showman, who understood the art of the final act. He left the world on
In 1960, he launched TV's syndicated Porter Wagoner Show, on a budget of less than $1,000 an episode. This was before Hee Haw and CMT wasn't even a dream. At the top of it's game, the show aired in more than 100 markets, making it the most important country-music TV show of its time.
"This is a great loss
for country music and the Grand Ole Opry."
Dierks Bently "
encouraged me and helped me to fulfill my dreams and was truly and
Between 1954 and 1980, he had 20 top 10 country hits. He won Grammys for three gospel albums, and in 2002, he became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
"It is with great
sadness that we must say goodbye to our good friend and Grand Ole Opry legend,
Porter Wagoner. He was a part of our Gaylord Opryland Resort family, a part of
our heritage, our community, an American icon, and a loyal friend."
Arthur Keith, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Gaylord Opryland Resort
"He was one of the
real faces on Rushmore when it comes to Nashville, Tenn., and the Grand Ole Opry."
"He was a great American"
"He was a hero
and a great gentleman for country music and the Grand Ole Opry." "Country
music lost a bit of sparkle with the passing of Porter Wagoner."
For those of us who watched his show, played his records, or even bought Breeze detergent because Porter said we should, know that the world has lost a true country music pioneer.
© 2007 Eddie Bear Productions