Porter Wagoner sings “Carroll County Accident”
Porter Wayne Wagoner, also known as “Mr. Grand Ole Opry,” was born on August 12, 1927 in West Plains, Missouri. His father was a farmer and as a young adult, Porter worked in a butcher shop to earn a living. However, his true passion was in making music. His first band, “The Blue Ridge Boys,” performed on a radio station that operated from the butcher shop which he worked in. In 1951, he was hired as a performer on a local radio station which ultimately lead to a recording contract with RCA Victor.
Wagoner’s career did not kick-start quickly. He struggled with lack of sales and was reliant on gigs at schoolhouses for the gate proceeds. Things started to gain traction for Porter when Carl Smith cut his song “Trademark” in 1953. Following this victory, Wagoner was able to find success with his first few hits with RCA Victor. In 1955, Porter Wagoner was a featured performer on ABC-TV’s Ozark Jubilee. He often appeared on the show with Don Warden and Speedy Haworth, making up the “Porter Wagoner Trio. It wasn’t until 1957 that Wagoner uprooted his life in Missouri to move to Nashville, TN, where he soon became a member of The Grand Ole Opry.
Ten years later, Wagoner introduced a young lady by the name of Dolly Parton on his television show, The Porter Wagoner Show. This sparked the beginning of an epic musical partnership as Parton and Wagoner went on as well-known duo for over a decade. Throughout his career, Wagoner charted a whopping 81 singles, some of which include, “A Satisfied Mind,” “Misery Loves Company,” “I’ve Enjoyed as Much of This as I Can Stand,” “Sorrow on the Rocks,” “Green, Green Grass of Home,” “Skid Row Joe,”, “The Cold Hard Facts of Life,” and “The Carroll County Accident.”
Porter Wagoner died from lung cancer in Nashville on October 28, 2007, with his family and Dolly Parton at his side. To learn more about the life and legacy or Porter Wagoner, visit https://countrymusichalloffame.org/Inductees/InducteeDetail/porter-wagoner.