Country singer Porter Wagoner passed away this week.
I was lucky enough to see him twice this year, once in Nashville in June, and then later on July 24th opening for the White Stripes at Madison Square Gardens. I saw him with the great love of my life both times, the second time on our wedding night, so I have a fondness for the man that goes beyond who he was as an artist and a singer -- I feel he's part of my own life -- my loves and my personal history -- and part of the enduring power that country music holds sway over my heart.
I came to him through Dolly Parton, but again, he went beyond that. He was far more than the man who discovered her; he was an artist in his own right, and great, both before and after her (though their duets will forever be remembered, and I don't mean to diminish them, and I love her dearly).
I'm glad I had a chance to discover this artist and gentleman when I did.
Here's a post by my man honoring him; it's full of links to obits, tributes and kind words, like these, from Marty Stuart :
"I grew up watching his television show in Mississippi and it was as if he were a member of our family. After I got to know him, he was. He was a masterful showman, who understood the art of the final act. He left the world on top."