Get On The Bandwagoner

This appeared in the New York Post - March 30, 2007

COUNTRY Music Hall of Famer Porter Wagoner, the Thin Man from West Plains, drops into Manhattan for the first time in nearly 20 years.

The original Rhinestone Cowboy - the country superstar was known for his flashy outfits - is bringing his upcoming album, The Wagonmaster, and an armory of country hits to Joe's Pub (425 Lafayette St.; [212] 967-7555) tonight for "An Evening of Stories and Songs."

He turns 80 this summer, but the Grand Ole Opry mainstay from Missouri almost died last summer of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

"We tried to start the record in July, and Porter almost died. But we got it done, and I think this is one of the best records to come out of this town in years," country star Marty Stuart, who produced the record, reportedly said at a listening party in Nashville in December. "Times change, but Porter hasn't."

On his fiddle- and banjo-filled album, due in June, Porter mixes music (such as Johnny Cash's "Committed to Parkview") and memories (such as when he saw Hank Williams).

Wagoner's got some tales to tell. He had dozens of Top 10 songs ("Misery Loves Company" and "Green, Green Grass of Home" are just two) and his own hit TV show, which then unknown singer Dolly Parton joined in 1967. The two began recording together until their musical partnership ended - acrimoniously - in 1975. He's also won lots of Country Music Association Awards as well as three Grammys for three of his gospel albums. But that's the past, and he's lived to tell it all. We just need to listen.

By Mary Huhn

Return To Articles Return To Home Page