On this day in 1927, country music artist Porter Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri. Known just as much for his sense of style as his music, Wagoner was an icon in country music from the time he first hit the scene in the early 1950s.
Wagoner was one of the most prominent country acts to wear rhinestone-studded “Nudie suits” on stage, and he did so in every performance all the way until his death in 2007. He maintained a clean-cut image, and he and his band were always dressed to the nines for on-stage performances. Throughout his career, Wagoner had more than 80 singles on the country charts, and became a well-respected artist and television personality in country music.
Wagoner had a long-running syndicated television show called The Porter Wagoner Show, and featured performances from guest artists. The show ran from 1960-1981 and had a total of 686 episodes. Perhaps the most famous country act to come from the show was Dolly Parton. Porter Wagoner invited Parton to be a regular part of the show with a five-year contract, and in the end, she spent seven years on it. She wrote the song, “I Will Always Love You” as a farewell when she left the show in 1974, and though they had a period of legal disagreement, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner remained extremely close friends throughout the rest of Wagoner’s life.
Porter Wagoner passed away on October 28, 2007. Today– August 12th, 2017– would’ve been his 90th birthday.
Happy birthday to the late Porter Wagoner! Watch him perform in one of his signature flashy suits below.