Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"He was The Image of the Country Music Star"

The death of country music legend Porter Wagoner may not have registered to our big city pals, but a good part of America lost an old and welcome friend when the music star and TV standby passed away on Sunday. Our pal Lewis Bailey of Bailey Mountain, Georgia-- well-known as Tabloid Baby's eyes on the South, the best news cameraman in the USA and a leading expert on country western music-- knew the man and his music, and along with the photo of Porter and the Bailey bunch above, sends us these thoughts on the loss:

When I hear the name Porter Wagoner, I tend to get the same feeling as walking into my home and smelling turnip greens and corn bread baking in the oven. My mind goes back to my childhood listening to a Hallicrafters AM radio crackle in our barn.

As I got older, a TV show on the weekend is added to that memory. Porter has always been with me. He was always comforting and entertaining.

I thought Porter invented rhinestone suits. For us real country folks, he was what success and stardom looked like. In the early 60's, he was The Image of The Country Music Star. As an adult today, I realize that Porter was doing everything he could to entertain his audience. He did all this because he loved his audience. He sang with all his heart. And I guess Porter thought that was not enough, so he framed himself with beautiful women and Nudie suits.

My family and I were around him several times, and he treated us like special folks. We were only fans. But he treated us like found family. No one was a rank stranger to Porter.

Porter, Dolly is not the only one who will always love you.
Porter Wagoner's funeral will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Wagoner will be buried in Nashville's Woodlawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Alive Hospice in Nashville or the Opry Trust Fund.

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