Los Angeles based Anti Records announces the signing of Country Music Hall of Famer, Porter Wagoner in celebration of his 50th year with The Grand Ole Opry in 2007. The project entitled “Wagonmaster” will be produced by Marty Stuart and is the first in a series of events celebrating Porter’s anniversary. Porter will join a label roster that features such distinguished artists such as Tom Waits, Bettye Lavette, and Neko Case.
“Porter Wagoner’s music is timeless and truly a piece of America ’s musical tapestry.” Says producer Marty Stuart. “He is a poet and one of the last Artists standing from Country Music’s golden era.”
Anti- prez, Andy Kaulkin notes that “Porter is one of those special artists that have always defied boundaries and categories. His music touches on every conceivable human emotion and this new work with Marty is particularly powerful and poignant.”
The songs on “Wagonmaster” are mostly from Wagoner’s pen, but one song of note, “Commited to Parkview” was written by Johnny Cash.
Stuart recalls the songs’ origin, “I was a member of Johnny Cash’s band in the early 1980’s. While on tour in Europe, Cash and I became very intrigued with some of Porter’s concept records such as “The Rubber Room”, “The Soul of a Convict”, and “Confessions of a Broken Man”. John said ‘I’ve got a song for Porter; it’s about a stay in Parkview, which is an asylum at the edge of Nashville. Porter and I both have been guests there.’ Cash gave me a cassette of the song in 1981 and asked me to get it to Porter. I never got around to it until we started collecting songs for this project. I searched my warehouse and found the envelope with ‘Committed to Parkview’ on it, with a note from John to Porter. Twenty-five years after I was supposed to and three years after his death, I did what I told John I would do. I delivered the song and Porter loved it”.
Porter Wagoner was born August 12, 19 27 of Irish-German heritage in the Ozarks of Missouri. In 1949, Porter visited Nashville and witnessed Hank Williams singing “Lovesick Blues” at the Grand Ole Opry. By 1952, Porter found himself recording his first RCA release, William’s “Settin’ The Woods On Fire”. 1953 gave Porter his first songwriting success with the Carl Smith hit, “Trademark”. During this time The Porter Wagoner Trio, with Don Warden (steel guitar) and Hershel “Speedy” Haworth (electric guitar) was formed and began touring. 1954 brought Porter his first hit with “Company’s Comin’” and “A Satisfied Mind” came next and went to number one for 4 weeks and stayed on the charts for over 8 months. On February 23, 19 57 Wagoner joined the Grand Ole Opry where he remains one of its most popular stars fifty years later.
Wagoner, a four time GRAMMY award winner, also expanded the role of music on television. He pioneered syndicated music programming with “The Porter Wagoner Show” in 1960. The extremely popular show remained on the air for an amazing 21 years in two hundred markets and was seen by an estimated 4 million viewers. The show solidified the legendary status of his full band, the Wagonmasters and started Dolly Parton on her rise to super-stardom. “The Porter Wagoner Show” now airs Fridays at 7:30pm EST on the RFDTV network.
Producer, Marty Stuart is a GRAMMY winning Country artist, producer, writer, and photographer who starts this project on the heels of releasing three albums in the past year on his own Superlatone Records. His recent album “Souls’ Chapel” was nominated for 2006 Album of the Year by The Americana Music Association. Stuart is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry.