Skip to comments.Porter Wagoner returns from obscurity
Posted on 08/10/2007 2:24:18 AM PDT by HAL9000
NEW YORK - Porter Wagoner looks right at home in the marble lobby of Manhattan's Roosevelt Hotel. He wears a dark Western suit and tie and holds a shiny black cane. The glare from the crystal chandelier reflects off his eyeglasses as he tilts his head back, trying to remember the last time he played Madison Square Garden.
Sometime in the '70s ... one of those package tours ... Little Jimmie Dickens and Faron Young were there ... some others he can't recall ...
Back then, "The Thin Man from West Plains" was still the grand showman of country music with his rhinestone suits and pompadour hair. He had a TV show and dozens of hits on his own and with a pretty young blonde named Dolly Parton.
All that faded with time, and so did Wagoner. He checked into a psychiatric hospital for exhaustion, his show went off the air, he was dropped from his record label and dismissed as a relic. Last summer he nearly died.
Except for his standing gig on the Grand Ole Opry, he was mostly forgotten.
"I was thinking while on stage last night, 'This is the biggest, most well-known arena in the country, and here I am performing at it,'" he says the morning after a show with the White Stripes.
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(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Great story, great article.
I think he was in a car racing/wrecking movie paired up with Terry Bradshaw back in the 70s. Gumball Rally maybe? Porter’s role was hysterical!
I know basically nothing about country music but I always thought that appearing at the Grand Ole Opry was the holy grail of country singers.How does that equate with obscurity?
Eeew, he was always beyond creepy. He could have stayed obscure. Actually, I thought he’d died a decade or two ago.
I remember that show. “And you can get them in boxes of Breeze!”
Breeze! You made my day by saving me from hours of pondering the name of that detergent, lol. I didn’t recall Dolly and Porter doing the ads, but sure remember the product.
Like lots of others, I didn’t realize he was still alive until this article. Probably because of Dolly’s rendition of “Hillbilly Heaven,” where she’s going down the list of all the stars she’s seeing “up there” in her dreams of going to the Gand Ole Opry in the Sky.
She says a bunch of names of country singers who are already there, then gets to “future” possibilities, such as George Jones and the like, then herself. Then she stops and says “oops” “where’s Porter?” “oh, there he is.”
Maybe that was a double-entendre on her part, alluding to his semi-vanishing act from the business.
I even remember now how Dolly would pronounce the phrase. “Gitcher flaher tayels (flower towels) in boxes of Breeze!”
I was forced to go by my parents.
The one thing I remember about the concert was that he was disappointed that the auditorium didn't have more people in it.
SONG TITLE: THE RUBBER ROOM
RUBBER ROOM (Porter Wagoner)
« © ‘72 Owepar Publishing »
In a buildin’ tall with a stone wall around,
there’s a rubber room.
When a man sees things and hears sounds that’s not there,
he’s headed for the rubber room.
Illusions in a twisted mind to save from self-destruction.
hmm it’s the rubber room.
Where a man can run into the wall
till his strength makes him fall and lie still...
And wait, for help, in the rubber room.
From his blurry vision of doom,
a psycho, in the rubber room.
The man in the room right next to mine screams a woman’s name,
hits the wall in vain...
He’s in the rubber room.
I hear footsteps poundin’ on the floor,
God I hope they don’t stop at my door.
Hmm I’m in the rubber room.
Now they’ve come to get me but they find,
I’m a screamin’ pretty words, tryin’ to make ‘em rhyme...(*)
I’m in the rubber room!
hmm a psycho...
I’m in the rubber room
Thanks for posting this article.
When that is the ONLY place you’re appearing, it’s obscurity. I like his work, and I thought he’d died years ago. No new albums? Dude must be daid!
Now, you’ll have to excuse me, I need to search Amazon...