Emmylou Harris, Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell honor Porter Wagoner in musical tribute
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Emmylou Harris, Jim Lauderdale, Rodney Crowell honor Porter Wagoner in musical tribute

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 – The event was planned about three months ago, intended to honor Porter Wagoner. Instead, the Tennessee State Museum played host to a tribute to the county great, who died Sunday at 80 of lung cancer.

This was no downer of an event, which drew hundreds of people and musical tributes from the likes of Rodney Crowell, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller and Emmylou Harris. And Wagoner's family showed up as well to an evening that was originally intended to feature Wagoner singing.

Wagoner's daughter, Denise, spoke at the event and was clearly pleased with the chance to honor her father, who she said did not like to talk about himself. "I invited myself," Harris said after the event. "I really wanted to be a part of it."

Harris performed several Porter Wagoner songs with guitar ace Miller.

Harris told the crowd before they played a note that he June release "Wagonmaster," "has been my favorite record. Try to turn everybody onto it who doesn't have it. T makes me remember why I love country music."

With that, the duo sang "If Teardrops Were Pennies," which Harris said "was always my favorite Dolly and Porter song." Harris was in fine vocal form throughout her appearance.

"Many of us have a chance to say bye to Porter," said Harris, adding, "I'm really grateful to be here tonight."

With that, she launched into "Someone I Used To Know" with Miller on backing vocals on the very heartfelt version of the song.

Lauderdale, who handled the emcee responsibilities, sang "Slewfoot." He told a story about how he once hosted the Grand Old Opry with Wagoner, telling the crowd, "I like classical music, like Wagner, Porter Wagoner."

Crowell sang two songs as well, including "Love Is All I Need," a song he wrote about losing his parents.

Marty Stuart, who produced "Wagonmaster," was slated to appear, but had another commitment.

Chris Gaffney and Mike Farris also performed.

The event was held at the start of the American Music Association annual conference.

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CD reviews for Porter Wagoner

CD review - Wagonmaster Porter Wagoner's latest is a terrific album. It's a collection that fits seamlessly into Wagoner's long and impressive body of musical work, while at the same time representing an artistic stretch on behalf of the artist and his reverential producer, Marty Stuart. The album is bookended with "Wagonmaster 1 & 2," a quick fiddle ditty with producer Stuart introducing the artist, "Wagonmaster's comin..." and Wagonmaster's leavin'... ...
CD review - 18 Grand Old Gospel 2005 This is Porter Wagoner's second gospel collection in two years, perhaps a clear indication that he has found a comfortable home in the genre. Wagoner contributes four of his own compositions to this set, including two recitations, "I Found A Man" and "The Bird That Never Flew." The other 14 offerings are a mix of standards such as "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms" and "In The Sweet Bye and Bye" and newer material with an old time feel. His current singing partner, Pam Gold, joins him on "Ye Of Little Faith. ...
Porter Wagoner's second Shell Point album finds him in fine voice, with supple support from his regular band, The Wagonmasters, and a finely picked collection of tunes. The album title is one to take with a grain of salt, as Wagoner's never been hugely "plugged" in the first place. Still, the electric guitars give way to steel, dobro and acoustic picking, and the drums keep to a polite level. The result would sound as natural in 1962 as it does here in 2002. The near-acoustic backing provides ...

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