Saturday, March 17, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Porter Wagoner

Artist:Porter Wagoner
Song:The Carroll County Accident
Album:The Essential Porter Wagoner

Porter Wagoner was best known as the man who discovered Dolly Parton and then tried to stop her from leaving. Of course a lot of his hits were duets with Dolly. But he was fixture on the country charts for decades and also on TV. The Carroll County Accident was one of his biggest hits in 1969. He was born Aug. 12, 1927 in West Plains, MO and he taught himself to play guitar by listening to country music over the radio. As a teen, he worked as a butcher at a local grocery store and Wagoner sang when business was slow. The store owner liked his singing so much that he sponsored a radio show for Wagoner on local station KWPM. Then he was hired by KWTO in Springfield and Red Foley hired him for his Ozark Jamboree radio show. This led to a contract with RCA Records. Some of Wagoner's early hits included Company's Comin', A Satisfied Mind and Eat, Drink and Be Merry. He moved to Nashville in 1957 and formed his backing band The Wagoneers led by his long time steel guitarist Don Warden. Wagoner's career seemed to be failing when he started his TV show in 1960. It got him back on the country charts. And he introduced singer Norma Jean and she had some hits. But they never sang together. In 1967, he fired Norma Jean and hired Dolly Parton. They had several hits together beginning with the Tom Paxton song The Last Thing On My Mind. She became more popular than him and of course that became a problem when she wanted to leave in 1974. None of Wagoner's solo hits were as big as his duets with Parton. But The Carroll County Accident may have been his biggest hit in that time period. It reached #2 on the Country Singles chart in 1969. The Carroll County Accident was written by Bob Ferguson. He was Chet Atkins' assistant at RCA Nashville and he also wrote Ferlin Husky's 1960 hit On The Wings Of A Dove. Ferguson got the idea for the fictional song from a road sign while driving through Carroll County, TN. After Dolly left, Wagoner retired from touring but continued to produce his TV show until 1981. He also left RCA at that time. This budget comp is a good intro to Wagoner's solo hits. It looked like he would retire. But an appearance in Clint Eastwood's 1982 film Honkytonk Man brought him out of retirement. He continued to record and perform. He was named Goodwill Ambassador by the Grand Ole Opry and hosted their TV show. For years he was known as Mr. Grand Ole Opry. Porter Wagoner recorded his final album for Anti Records in 2007 and died of lung cancer on Oct. 28, 2007 at age 80. Here's Porter Wagoner performing The Carroll County Accident on That Good Ole Nashville Music June 14, 1970.

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