Country Music Hall of Famer Porter Wagoner Dead at 80

Posted in News on October 29, 2007

Country music legend Porter Wagoner, known for his country hits, avant-garde wardrobe, and boosting Dolly Parton’s career, died October 28 in Nashville. He was 80. The cause of death was lung cancer.

Wagoner, a longtime BMI songwriter, was born August 12, 1927 in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. He began his career in 1951 at KWTO radio station in Springfield, MO, which led to a recording contract with RCA Victor that spawned such hits as “Company’s Comin” and the No.1 song “A Satisfied Mind”.

In 1957, he joined the Grand Ole Opry, hosting The Porter Wagoner Show for 21-years, working with Dolly Parton as his duet partner beginning in 1967. Viewers tuned into his syndicated program to catch his innovative approach to traditional country arrangements and legendary handmade rhinestone suits.

During their professional relationship, Wagoner and Parton won the Country Music Association’s Duo of the Year in 1970 and 1971 and recorded the hit duets “Just Someone I Used to Know,” “Making Plans” and “The Last Thing on My Mind.” A three-time Grammy winner and an inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Wagoner recently released the album Wagonmaster, earning rave reviews and opening at Madison Square Garden for rock duo White Stripes. This year also marked his 50th anniversary with the Grand Ole Opry, prompting a celebration in his honor where Parton performed “I Will Always Love You”

Wagoner is survived by three children: daughters Debra and Denise, and son Richard.