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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Reflections on Porter Wagoner

"Listener Greg G." writes one helluva an article on the late, great Porter Wagoner over at WFMU's Beware of the Blog, which includes a photo gallery of Wagoner's themed album covers (to your left, the cover for Wagoner's "murder" album, The Cold Hard Facts of Life), and various mp3s from different stages of Wagoner's career.

Highly recommended, as is Wagoner's biography, A Satisfied Mind: The Country Music Life of Porter Wagoner. The book is indeed out-of-print, but can still be ordered from Amazon and other venues.

...Other bummers on [Confessions of a Broken Man] include Hank Williams' Men With Broken Hearts, How Far Down Can I Go, and Skid Row Joe, a downbeat recitation that wound up as a Top Ten hit despite its relentlessly depressing story line. Amazingly, the shockingly seedy cover photo won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover Photography for art director Robert M. Jones and photographer Les Leverett. Always in search of a cheap thrill, when I found myself in Nashville recently I could not resist perching myself on the steps of the Ryman in a hammy effort to recreate the cover photo for this LP. Rather than dressing like a thirsty panhandler, however, I posed in a WFMU t-shirt for a contribution to the station's Flickr page, where they've got a section comprised of photos showing listeners sporting their 'FMU duds. The photo was taken on October 7th, about 10 days before Porter checked into the hospital.

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