Singer, actor, and ambassador Porter Wagoner dead at 80

by Jimmy Carter

Country singer Porter Wagoner died of lung cancer at a hospice in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday.

Waylon Jennings once said Porter Wagoner couldn't go pop without a mouth full of firecrackers.

His singing style was more Hank Williams than today's country pop. For sure, he was traditional, yet also unpredictable.

Porter was the Opry's master showman.

His trademark rhinestone suits were as famous as his songs.

He was a producer, at times an actor, a singer and a pioneer in country music television.

The Porter Wagoner show was on TV for 21 years and began right here at Channel 4-WSMV.

Porter Wagoner once said, "the theory was, if they see you on television, they won't buy tickets. That's was what their thoughts was in the early days."

Porter is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and a four-time Grammy winner for his gospel work.

This long time ambassador of country music is still most famous for introducing the world to a young east Tennessee girl.

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner for a time were country music.

Porter Wayne Wagoner of West Plains, Missouri for nearly 60 years, known around the world as a country music icon. The thin man from west plains was a natural, made his audience feel special by just being himself.

Porter Wagoner was 80 years-old.