Sunday, April 13, 2008


Sevier County superstar Dolly Parton took some personal time off from her busy press schedule Saturday to celebrate the life and music of former television partner and mentor, Porter Wagoner. In her own Celebrity Theater, the singer spent an emotional and poignant afternoon singing the songs and sharing the stories of the time she and Porter spent together and the impact the legend had on all who surrounded him. Parton also took the opportunity to surprise manager, and original Wagon Master, Don Warden with an induction into the Missouri based Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. The Dollywood Theater was transformed with familiar sets from the long-running country music show and Dolly’s band, The Backwoods Boys, dressed in the signature costumes from the era. Dolly, herself, wore a Porter-inspired outfit to set the mood for the afternoon.

“This won’t be a sad time,” she assured the crowd. “This will be a happy time!” The private event was attended by Wagoner’s children and grand children and many of the Grand Ole Opry stars who had performed with him during his long and successful career. “The Porter Wagoner Show” debuted on syndicated television in 1960 and the flashy country star brought new talent Dolly Parton aboard in 1967. Parton credits his support and the popularity of their duets together, as the foundation of her own success.
During the emotional memorial, Wagon Master steel guitar player Don Warden was surprised by Parton with a tribute of his own. Dressed in the original costume he wore on the famed show, Warden was gifted with a sculpture from Parton who described him as her “Angel on Earth” and told of his induction into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame. When Dolly left the Porter Wagoner Show, Warden went with her as manager and has remained with her as an adviser through the years. This very special tribute marked the first time the two had performed together in 34 years.

Eyes glistening with tears, Parton closed the memorial with the original version of her 1974 musical farewell to their partnership, “I Will Always Love You”. “Not a dry eye in the house,” says Sevierville media artist Jacob Timmons, who designed and manages Parton’s web empire. “The whole first row of the theater was Porter’s family, the second row was legends from the Grand Ole Opry. It was a powerful and moving expression of love”. Porter Wagoner died on October 28, 2007, in Nashville Tennessee. His career spanned seven decades.
This blog brought to you by S.D. Professionals, LLC :: Tennessee's Entertainment Bloggers!
All content of this blog belongs exclusively to S.D. Professionals, LLC and may NOT be used, copied or rewritten in any form with out written consent.