Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hey Porter

Big things afoot here at the Mountain. I'm full of unkept promises, but this one is coming to pass, and I think y'all will be right pleased. Really. Keep your eyes peeled over the next month or so. If you're a particularly snoopy individual, you can probably figger out where we're headed.

And, in a, ahem, completely and utterly unrelated note, our panel of special guest judges are busily poring through piles of wax to help me bring you the official Big Rock Candy Mountain Top 100 Drinking Songs of All Time. You're gonna want to get on your knees in humble praise to these folks when all is said and done, and shower them with gifts and hosannas.

Now then.

What to do with Porter Wagoner?

These days Wagoner's probably best known as the funny looking skinny guy that gave Dolly Parton her big break on his long running tv show. Some would suggest he was also responsible for attempting to hog-tie Ms. Parton to his show in lieu of allowing her to find success outside of said show, and the narrow boundaries. I couldn't really speak to that, and I'd say Ms. Parton has done all right for herself over the years.

Wagoner was also a mainstay at the Grand Ole Opry for years and years and years.

Wagoner has also produced some dreadful records. Sappy, unlistenable countrypolitan and a slew of country gospel albums better left to AM radio, where at least the hiss and crackle adds an otherworldly feel to the proceedings.

So why should you give a rat's ass about Porter Wagoner? Well he also made some super swell "hard" county albums in his day. Wagoner had a knack for tales about losers, alcoholics, cheaters, and the insane. No, really, the insane. See below for "Rubber Room", one of the shining testaments in recorded history for the mentally unstable. Performing in his Nudie suit, Wagoner takes these songs to a strange juxtaposed place, where the glitz of appearnce belie the desparation of the subject matter.

This post, believe it or not, is meant to be a recommendation for Wagoner.

Check out some of Porter Wagoner's older sides or collections. Some of which are only on vinyl, but "Rubber Room: The Haunting Poetic Songs of Porter Wagoner 1966-1977" , released last year, is a great place to start. Wagoner has a new album coming out this Spring, on Anti, produced by Marty Stuart. I'm ingrigued.

"The Rubber Room" is completely mad.

"Misery Loves Company" is a great drinking song, one you might see later here at this site.

The Dolly Parton/Porter Wagoner duet below is...well...it's an interesting song that could've been better served with slightly different instrumentation and production, but lyrically it's pretty nifty. And it's Dolly. Who doesn't love Dolly?

Porter Wagoner: The Rubber Room (mp3)

Porter Wagoner: Misery Loves Company (mp3)

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton: Better Move It On Home (mp3)

Please support your local, independent cable access television shows.


Anonymous said...

great psych country tune, rubber room.

dolly parton has a great rockin' boppin voice.


Greg said...

Wow! That was one dee-ranged tune (Rubber Room). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Rubber Room is the dopest song in the blogosphere. UNBELIEVABLE.

Anonymous said...

i found "what is to be will be, what ain't to be just might happen" on vinyl a long time ago, before i had any idea of who wagoner was, and i've been blowing minds with it ever since. rubber room isn't the only great track on that album. and the cover art... the cover art... spent lots of time looking at the cover art.

Anonymous said...

All of this takes me back to the days of Buck Owens.

Four Quarters Gets me 2 Buck Songs
words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007

I'll never forget:

The Last Time I Saw Buck Owens
words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007

Esteban said...

Those who are truly obsessed with the wacky world of Porter Wagoner LP covers may enjoy this: http://atlantatimemachine.com/misc/porter1.htm

It's got the whole story (with photos) of the Cold Hard Facts of Life LP cover.

Life So Far.... said...

Wow, the Porter Cold Hard Facts album cover has been one of my weird iconic covers, since I first saw it. Haven't even thought about it in 30 years! Thanks for the link and for the obsession with finding the apartment!

Life So Far.... said...

Anyway to see old re-runs of the Porter Wagoner Show? My brother and I watched, as kids, in the late 50's. We loved the way Buck Trent gave the tuning peg a little vibrato turn and wiggled that eyebrow toward the camera when playing.