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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 stage 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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Who was Porter Wagoner and what did he contribute to music?

Born in 1927 on a farm in the Missouri Ozarks that used mules that pulled the plow, Porter Wagoner sold rabbit pelts to purchase his first mail-order guitar. Wagoner's dream to be on the Grand Ole Opry was realized in his 1955 appearance; later, in 1957, he joined the Opry and opened his first show in 1960. While on the Grand Ole Opry, in 1967, Wagoner introduced Dolly Parton with whom he collaborated on the song "Please Don't Stop Loving Me." Clearly, he helped launch the career of Dollie Parton.

In addition to this song, Wagoner composed 81 singles that made the country charts, 29 of which became"Top-10 Hits." He recorded some of the earliest "concept albums," a group of songs with a theme. He often sang of the "raw emotions" of those who lived difficult lives, frequently employing a speaking voice in an old country technique of recitation. In the 1960s, Wagner received three Grammys for gospel recordings. However, the man in the Nubie Cohn "hillbilly deluxe" suits incurred wrath when he brought James Brown onto the Grand Ole Opry stage in 1979 despite having Brown sing "Your Cheatin' Heart" and another country song.

In 2002, Porter Wagoner was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. At the age of 80, Mr. Wagoner died in 2007. Despite their bitter split that involved six years of legal suits, Dolly Parton was by his bedside.

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