Porter Wagoners' broad smile, flashy costume and memorable songs are the very image of a country music star. Indeed, he is an icon in the music industry. The "Thin Man From West Plains" (Missouri), is among the most recognized names and images in all of country music. His grand showmanship, his rhinestone suits, his loyalty to the Grand Ole Opry, his TV leadership, his championing of Dolly Parton, his unique singing voice, his exquisite recitations, his songwriting, and especially, his record production, have all culminated in the legacy that is Porter Wagoner.
Porter Wayne Wagoner was born August 12, 1927 of Irish-German heritage in the Ozarks of Missouri near the Arkansas border. In 1949, Porter visited Nashville and witnessed Hank Williams singing "Lovesick Blues" at the Grand Ole Opry.
By 1950, he was working in Vaughn's butcher shop on the town square and singing (and reading commercials) on a 15-minute early morning show over local radio KWPM in his hometown. Executives from Springfield, Missouri's KWTO radio station then recruited him for their station in September 1951. In 1952, Porter found himself recording his first RCA release, Williams' "Settin' The Woods On Fire". 1953 brought Porter his first songwriting success with the Carl Smith hit, "Trademark". During this time the Porter Wagoner Trio, with Don Warden (steel guitar) and Herschel "Speedy" Haworth (electric guitar) was formed and began touring. 1954 brought Porter his first top 10 hit with "Company's Comin'". ...