Friday, November 02, 2007

Hey, Porter

     I thought someone should pay tribute to good ol' Porter Wagoner, who passed away at the age of eighty earlier this week.
I happened to see him a couple of times in person (on the Grand Ole Opry, no less), and even though he had probably sung the songs he sang a million times before, there wasn't anything perfunctory about his performance.  You couldn't help but feel as though you were watching a legendary figure do his thing.  And the suits he wore--you can't write about him and not mention the Nudie suits.  It's the closest those guys ever get to drag, I guess.  His album covers were awesome, too.  I have a copy of The Bottom of the Bottle, which pictures a nice clean & sober Porter holding a liquor bottle, inside of which is standing the drunken bum version of Porter.  (The album features the songs "Wine" and "Wino"--he was probably the first country star to do concept albums).   There's another one called You Got-ta Have a License, which shows him dressed as a game warden in a rowboat.  (I guess the theme of that one is "Golly, you hafta have a license to do anything nowadays!")  There was a lot to admire in the guy, beyond the fact that he helped launch Dolly Parton's career.
     "The Cold Hard Facts of Life" is a classic.  It was written by Bill Anderson, and it's probably my favorite Porter tune.  It's one of the all-time great cheatin' songs.  So go ahead--drink a fifth of courage, and walk in.

No comments: