Porter Wagoner 1927-2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

"The Grand Ole Opry family is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of our dear friend, Porter Wagoner. His passion for the Opry and all of country music was truly immeasurable. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time"

--Pete Fisher
Vice-President and General Manager of The Grand Ole Opry.

Mr. Wagoner died yesterday from lung cancer Sunday October 28, 2007 at Alive Hospice in Nashville, TN.

Wagoner was a member of the Grand Ole Opry for 50 years, his last performance occurred on September 29, 2007. He had more than 80 charting singles, including more than 25 Top 10 hits. Among his musical hits, influences, and always staying on the cutting edge of new musical expression, Wagoner recorded his last album titled "Wagonmaster" released in June of this year and even was the opening act for the influential rock duo White Stripes at a sold-out show at New York's Madison Square Garden.

Wagoner was also no stranger to television, as well, The Porter Wagoner Show stayed in production for 21 years. When the show lost its first female singer, Norma Jean, a then unknown Dolly Parton was selected by Wagoner to fill the position and through their years together had 14 Top 10 duet hits. Wagoner even produced some of Parton's early hits. In 1974. the partnership ended, leading to lawsuits on businesses issues, however remained friendly, which led to Parton's writing of "I Will Always Love You."

Wagoner will never be forgotten as well for his big smile, his custom-made rhinestone suits, and his amazing presence on the stage of The Grand Ole Opry. His many hits like his very first, "Company's Comin," "Skid Row Joe," "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Carroll County Accident," and so many others will never be forgotten either.

Funeral services for Porter Wagoner will be held Thursday morning at 11 a.m. at the Grand Ole Opry House, just off Briley Parkway. Visitation will be Wednesday from 2-8 p.m. at Woodlawn Funeral Home, 660 Thompson Lane, and both the visitation and the funeral are open to the public.

On a personal note, I will never forget all the times I have been able to be at the Opry and see him perform and host a segment. The amazing rhinestones sparkling bright under the lights as he introduced the artists or sang a song opening the jacket to his suit and showing off the Bass Pro Shops logo sewn inside. Then, there was the last time I saw him, walking out of the front door at the Ryman after a show in his jeans, button up flanel, and a jacket. Un-noticed, hardly, as he got into his vehicle and drove away.

He is one of the members of the Opry that makes the experience special. For 50 years, a part of its character, a part of the incredible talent, and that part of Wagoner will never die at the Opry, even though he is now gone from this Earth, he will always be smiling down on the Opry every weekend.

The Tennessan (Full Article)

The Tennessan (Second Article, funeral arrangements)

The New York Times

USA Today

The Associated Press

"It is with great sadness that we must say goodbye to our good friend and Grand Ole Opry legend, Porter Wagoner. He was a part of our Gaylord Opryland Resort family, a part of our heritage, our community, an American icon, and a loyal friend. Our hearts go out to his family, with whom we are also very close. For 23 years Porter flipped the switch at our A Country Christmas lighting ceremony making 2 million lights shine bright. No doubt this year our lights will be sparkling even brighter with Porter smiling down on us."

--Arthur Keith
Senior Vice President and General Manager Gaylord Opryland Resort

Gary Allan's "Living Hard"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not too often in the past would I post reviews, however, this one here is one I believe that needs to be posted here as well as on in their usual place on my website.....

Gary Allan’s newest release “Living Hard” is yet another example of what country music is all about, real life experiences. His previous album was dark and extremely personal after the death of his wife, there is no way to write about Allan’s music now without mention and comparison to that previous released masterpiece. This new album has lyrical continuation of expression, yet the music itself is much more uplifting sound. You can hear Allan’s emotional state; a sense of healing and moving on, with happier days, yet never forgetting.

Allan has long before now established himself as a highly talented artist and a targeted sound, and the current album stays right inline with what we have loved from Allan in the past. There isn’t any doubt listening to the first track, or the last, who you are hearing. That is a positive talent, no doubt.

“Living Hard” begins with “Watching Airplanes,” a lyrical strong (written by Jim Beavers and Jonathan Singleton) that is a girl-leaving song as he the character watches airplanes take off, wondering which she is on. A great song for everyone, yet it has another meaning to Allan I’m sure. This is a great example of what to expect on “Living Hard,” and this theme is common throughout.

“Living Hard” and “Wrecking Ball” shows a more rowdier side of Allan’s music, loud guitars and almost screaming sounds make these a bit of a miss on the album. Radney Foster’s “Half of My Mistakes” is safely covered on the album very nicely as well.

“Yesterday’s Rain” is a highlight of the album. One of the 6 songs Allan co-wrote, the track showcases Allan’s signature vocal presentation, a sound that perfectly fits, and most of all it really has an a feel of emotional outlet for Allan. Reading the lyrics makes you want to read them again. Hearing the song makes you want to listen again and embrace the emotions. Powerfully, even though we know what he is singing about, we all still can match this expression of feelings to our own lives.

Overall, Allan has yet again brought his fans an highly accomplished album that gives us all a real intense journey into his inner thought and musical expression through country music’s power of lyrical delivery and sharing stories and thought on life’s ups and downs.

Grade: A

Porter Wagoner

I know its been a week since I have posted, but I got up Friday morning to check the news about Porter Wagoner and arrived at my computer to a black screen. The message on the black screen said basically my hard drive failed. So, this past week, I have spent re-loading and updating so I can function again.

Porter Wagoner was hospitalized on October 15 for complications with lung cancer. He was reported in serious condition. Then Friday, his publicist reported that he has been moved to hospice care.

Wagoner is one of those artists I find so special, a tue piece of country music history. A Hall of Fame member since 2002, and a member of the Grand Ole Opry since February 23, 1957. Amazing.

There is so much more about Porter Wagoner to be learned, if you don't know him.


Be sure to pray for Mr. Wagoner, I sure am, everyday.

Also, if you would like send your prayers in form of a card, those can be sent to:

Porter Wagoner Enterprises
P.O. Box 290785
Nashville, TN 37229

Major Problems

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I hope to begin blogging again in the very near future. Probably a week or so, while my focus is now on re-installing my computer system.

I won't go on an emotional roller coaster now and share with you the pains of a full hard drive crash, with loss of 5 years of data.

I will be back.

The Opry Turns 82, XM Radio Begins Live Broadcasts

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Calvin Coolidge was president, you could buy a first-class postage stamp for 2 cents, buy bread for 9 cents, watch the movie Ben-Hur for the first time, and WSM Radio signs on the air for the first time, and then broadcasting the "WSM Barn Dance" which became The Grand Ole Opry. The year: 1925, 82 years ago.

The Opry is truly special. Never forget it and never forget to support it. Take the time to listen and to see it in person.

Speaking of listening, starting Saturday, not only can you hear it online and on WSM-AM, or watch 1 hour of it on GAC, you can now listen to the Opry on XM Radio, as the show returns to satellite radio.

Its getting close, beginning Saturday, XM Radio will begin its live broadcasts of The Grand Ole Opry.

Beginning Saturday, here is the schedule:
Live Performances on Nashville - XM 11
Fridays 9PM ET
Saturdays 7:30 & 10:30 PM ET
Tuesdays 8PM ET

Encore Broadcasts of Performances
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays 10AM ET America - XM 10
Catch the encore broadcasts of the performances that originally aired on Nashville - XM 11, as well as special archival performances from the Opry's stage.


Josh Turner - Grand Ole Opry invitation to become a member

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ok, while on vacation, I did miss something. Big time.

Josh Turner has beeen invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. Out of today's artists (that aren't already members,) I can't think of a better choice for membership. First and foremost, the video above shows what I mean about being the right person. Look at the emotion in Josh Turner when he is invited. It has to be overwhelming to an artist that is truly dedicated to the tradition of country music, as Turner showcases in his music.

Did you feel the emotion watching it? If you did, you can formally call yourself a true country music fan. The Grand Ole Opry is something special, more special than any words can describe. No other music style in this world has anything like the Opry. Every country music fan should experience the Opry in person in their life, but more importantly, support the Opry through listening every weekend and supporting those artists that make up the special Opry family.

Mr Turner, congratulations and there is no doubt in my mind you will be a role model member of the Opry.

Joe Nichols News Handled Correctly

Sunday, October 14, 2007

"As Joe has alluded to in interviews over the past year, he has struggled with the issue of substance abuse. In order to become a healthier person and deal with long standing issues, he has entered into a rehabilitation program for consultation and treatment." --Lytle Management

I have searched around a bit and see basically the above quote written on Joe Nichols' website in each news article, with the exception of addition of that he was supposed to perform at a venue and they were notified he would not be there.

No details, no specifics, just the basics of what his fans need to know. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the way the media should handle a situation of this nature, I believe. Perfectly done. If at some point later on, if he wants to talk about it in further detail, that would be his decision and should only come directly from his mouth.

The only thing left to say is that Joe Nichols is in my thoughts and prayers and wish him the very best as he deals with the issues that he has encountered in his life, and be ensured this is echoed many times over by fans of his music and the country music community.

Attention Real Country Fans: Gene Watson Album

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Oh man, oh man. Real country music fans need to stop what they are doing and go pick up the newest release from Gene Watson titled "In A Perfect World."

Its not often when I am going through new albums I receive for review and begin typing immediately, especially a blog entry on the album.

First and foremost. Gene Watson's voice is one of country music's gems. His style of country presentation is country to the bone. That's enough in itself to get excited about. However, to make this album even more special...

  • Background vocals featuring Vince Gill doing "'Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" (originally recorded by Ray Price, Jack Greene, Ray Price & Willie Nelson & Ronnie Milsap)
  • Background vocals featuring Lee Ann Womack "Today I Started Loving You Again" (originally recorded by Merle Haggard & Sammi Smith)
  • Buck Owens' classic "Together Again" featuring Rhonda Vincent on background vocals
  • "A Good Place To Turn Around" featuring Connie Smith on background vocals
  • Joe Nichols, Mark Chestnut also featured background vocals

OK, if that isn't enough for you, look at the songwriter credits to some of the songs... Hank Cochran, Harlan Howard, and many other cream of the crop writers.

This album my friends is one of those to get excited about. Unfortunately, we don't get this lucky often, but when it does happen, it certainly feels like a perfect world.

To learn more about this country music masterpiece visit:


More on Garth

Friday, October 12, 2007

Get this:

118 minutes. 162,000 tickets sold for 9 shows. That's 1372 tickets a minute for just under an hour. Wow.

That my friends is the power of Garth Brooks.

Even better is the Nov. 14 show is going to be shown live in movie theaters all over the country so all of us can be apart of this experience, indirectly at least.

This ties Garth's record for the most tickets sold in a single city in the U.S.

That's the news... but what I find most interesting is his comments posted on his website/press release:

"For the first time in my life I'm speechless" -- Garth Brooks

Well, I am not speechless, of course. I don't believe that Garth truly understands what a true master of all aspects of musical entertainment he holds. A master of talented musical performances, a certain aura of magic he carries within his words, his role-model family and life morals, a true carried out portal of dedication to his massive fan base, and his ability to make intelligent business decisions (especially in marketing.)

Mr. Brooks, if you are speechless on this most recent showcase of his demand, see what you have to say when you do it again and again. You see, you could. Pick any large city, small city, town, or even some remote intersection in the middle of nowhere USA... the same result would occur.

From what I have read, this apparently was to be the Wal-Mart appreciation concert that ended up being opened to the public and was to be only 1 show. He ended up with 9 shows in Kansas City. This tells me that Garth still has that spark, that driving desire to be on stage and this energy isn't going to fade, rather my guess it will take Garth to other towns across the country...

We will just see what life has in store for us next

I'm Back

After a very relaxing vacation and a little time of going through hundreds of e-mails, I am now caught up and ready to get back into posting the blog.

It was only about a 11 days being gone and out of touch. Driving back, listening to some FM radio, since I didn't have my XM with me, it didn't matter what station I was listening to, I felt like it was the same channel. Same sound, same songs, and even the same background singers on some of the station identification fillers. Whatever happened to local radio, having your own identity and feel to the station? I guess that is gone in this world of big business.

Also, I heard a little news bit that Garth announced a concert in Kansas City. Too bad it wasn't a bit closer to Richmond, VA. However, may be just as well that the show was far away because I would've really been beyond mad that I missed a chance to see Garth again. More on that topic in my next post.

Other than that, it doesn't seem like I missed too much while I was gone in the grand scheme of things, except for a few administrative e-mails for some upcoming reviews and features for the website.

Good news, I just in the last few minutes renewed my hosting and domain information for the next 12 months. Always a good feeling to pay that bill and excites me to know I have another year renewed to continue to grow the website. No telling what creative spark that will create for the site.

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