Monday, May 28, 2007

Porter Celebrates 50th Anniversary!

Those of you who missed the celebration of Porter Wagoner's 50th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry missed one of the best performances I've ever witnessed. Hosted by Marty Stuart, the celebration also featured banjo and guitar wizard Buck Trent, a former member of Wagoner's Wagonmasters band, who traveled from Branson, Mo., for the event. Special guest Dolly Parton, who spent seven years as the "girl singer" on Porter's TV show and tours, sang two of her big hits -- "Jolene" and "Coat of Many Colors." Dolly said she wrote "Coat of Many Colors" on a laundry ticket while riding on Porter's bus.

Porter performed a couple of songs from his upcoming album, Wagonmaster. Patty Loveless sang "If Teardrops Were Pennies" and later joined Porter, Dolly and Marty for a version of "Just Someone I Used to Know." The segment closed with Dolly standing and singing "I Will Always Love You" to a tearful Wagoner. She wrote the song for him when she left his TV show to concentrate on her own career. Do I have to say that there was not a dry eye in the house?

A few days later, I ran into Porter's daughter, Debbie, at a Cracker Barrel restaurant. She said they'd received hundreds of e-mails from fans who told them that Dolly drying the tears from Porter's face was one of the most moving things they'd ever seen. I agreed.

Wagonmaster will be released on June 7. None of the other reviewers and reporters has a copy of Porter's new CD, but I do! Debbie gave me one -- her only copy! Killer stuff, Porter.

Link to the Article

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