PORTER WAGONER HAS PASSED AWAY
Porter Wagoner, aged 80, died of lung cancer on Sunday , 28 October at 8:25 p.m. at Alive Hospice in Nashville. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1957 and had been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He was a great performer and I’m glad I saw him host and perform at a Grand Ole Opry show at the Ryman Auditorium in November 2001. He will be missed by many country music fans from all over the world.
In the 60’s, Jim Reeves and Porter Wagoner were on a few tour packages together. Although Jim’s band was originally called the Wagonmasters, that name was not officially carried by Jim's band in 1960 when Porter Wagoner formed a band with that name when he started to host one of the first syndicated country music television shows; The Porter Wagoner show. It ran for 21 years.
Jim never fought about it as he didn’t like the name Wagonmasters , and after Leo had left the band in 1957 to serve his country in the Army, Jim played with the name ‘Blue Boy’ for his band since he had a hit record with that name, and tried it out. He called the band like that on tape recordings of shows from that period, such as the Elko show..
When Leo came back from the Army, the new band consisted of Leo, Dean Manual, Mel Rogers, and James Kirkland. Leo recalls: "Jim led the band believe that they were tossing around names to rename the band. Jim said : ”There’s a new guy in town named Porter Wagoner, and he uses the name Wagonmaster. What do you guys say, have you got any good names to throw out to name the band?” And we were all naming names for 10 minutes, and Jim said: “What about Blue Boys?” “Well man, that sounds great!”
Leo Jackson has played rhythm guitar on one of Porter Wagoner’s albums. Leo thinks the name of the c.d. is”The Best Songs I’ve Ever Sung The Best I’ve Ever Been”. The songs are:1. Brewster’s Farm 2. I Knew This Day Would Come 3. Dusty Delta Memories 4. Daddy’s Ole Sayin’s Mama’s Belief 5. House On Mulberry Street 6. Moses Jones 7. Watching Eagles Fly 8. I’d Like To Make That Same Mistake Again 9. Broken Hearts Beat On 10. Till The Right One Comes Along 11. Sonny Boy 12. The Fiddle And Bow.
One can read more about the life and career of Porter Wagoner here.