West Plains, Mo.-native and Country Music Hall of Famer Porter Wagoner died from lung cancer yesterday. He was 80 years old. While Wagoner was legendary for his rhinestone suits, the gangly songwriting icon was more famous for his numerous hits, such as “Satisfied Mind,” “Misery Loves Company” and “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me”-a duet he performed with Dolly Parton, whose career he jumpstarted with his Porter Wagoner Show.
After Parton and “the Thin Man from West Plains” split in 1974, Wagoner’s songwriting career slowed down considerably. However, this past June, he released Wagonmaster on the ANTI-label. The album drew high acclaim from the modern music world and presented Wagoner with an opportunity to open for the White Stripes at Madison Square Garden.
When asked about his performance the following day, tears welled up in his eyes.
“The young people I met backstage, some of them were 20 years old. They wanted to get my autograph and tell me they really liked me. If only they knew how that made me feel-like a new breath of fresh air.”
The music world mourns the loss of Porter Wagoner.