'60s country star Porter Wagoner is a Renaissance man
By Brian Mansfield, Special for USA TODAY For most of the '60s, Porter Wagoner was arguably the most recognizable star in country music.
Marty Stuart is convinced that the 79-year-old singer — known as much for his flashy spangled and rhinestone-studded stage wear as for such hits as A Satisfied Mind and Green, Green Grass of Home— is on the verge of having a whole new generation discover him.
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"I started noticing that Annie Leibovitz was taking his picture; he was in Vanity Fair," says Stuart, a fellow performer who learned many lessons in showmanship as a child by watching Wagoner's syndicated television show. "He's a folk-art subject. He's always on the list of coolest album covers."
Earlier this month in a Nashville studio, Stuart produced Wagoner's new album, Wagonmaster, due for release in May on the punk-oriented Anti- label. "I told him, 'You have no idea who and what loves you. The only thing you have to do is show up and be Porter Wagoner.' "
Wagoner and Stuart were ready to book studio time last summer, until Wagoner underwent emergency surgery for a life-threatening abdominal aneurysm on July 14.
"I called my son, Richard, at 3 o'clock in the morning and he got me to the hospital," Wagoner recalls. "My doctor says he's the one I need to give credit to, for getting me there in time."href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2007-01-11-porter-wagoner_x.htm" target="_blank">Read More