Who is Porter Wagoner, and what sort of influence did he have on the music scene?



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Porter Wagoner was one of the first showmen of Country Western music. His "hillbilly deluxe" suits designed by Nubie Cohn set a trend for flashy dressing and showmanship followed by Elvis Presley, Wagoner's protege Dolly Parton, and others. Wagoner was on the cutting edge of other things, as well, such as the "concept album," in which the songs of such an album are unified in a theme. Also, he was not afraid to reach across his genre of music and invite other performers onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, of which he was the master of ceremonies. However, he incurred the wrath of many when he brought "the godfather of Soul,"James Brown onto its stageĀ 1979 despite having Brown sing "Your Cheatin' Heart" and another country song. Nevertheless, his action demonstrated his innovative personality as he went on to invite other artists such as R&B Joe Simon because he felt that the show was the star, not the individual performers, and there should be variety. In this way, he launched the careers of many performers.


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