Monday, May 21, 2007

Porter Wagoner Marks 50 Years on Opry!

The sound of Buck Trent's electric banjo, which was featured on Porter's TV show, took Dolly Parton back. "I got emotional," she said.

Saturday night at the Grand Ole Opry House was a special one for Porter Wagoner, as he celebrated a half-century on the Opry. The Opry's 7 to 8 p.m. hour was devoted to Porter, The Tennessean reports. For the first part of the hour he sat in the audience and watched as friends, including Marty Stuart and Patty Loveless, performed in his honor, and then he headed to the stage himself, resplendent in a white sparkle-suit.

Porter performed two songs from his forthcoming album, the much-buzzed-about, Wagonmaster, which was produced by Marty and is scheduled for release June 5. The room erupted when former duet partner Dolly Parton came out to join Porter on "Just Someone I Used to Know," with harmony help from Patty.

The sound of Buck Trent's electric banjo, which was featured on Porter's TV show, took Dolly back. "I got emotional," she said. Porter himself got emotional during Dolly's time on the stage. Though their professional parting involved some hurt feelings, he introduced her as "one of my best friends today." Then Dolly sang "I Will Always Love You" - the song she wrote for him - while facing Porter.

Porter's first appearance on the Opry came in 1957. He'd spent his childhood in rural poverty in Missouri and wasn't sure he'd make it in show business. "I thought I'd never get off that farm," he said. Fifty years later, Porter accepted the applause and respect reserved for legends, along with a pocket watch from Opry management in acknowledgment of time past and in anticipation of more fine times to come.

"There's been a lot of highlights," Porter said before taking the stage. "Of course, this is the top. This is the best party I've ever had in my life."


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