In the spotlight for hearing what matters: Robbie Fulks (31-Oct-07), Porter Wagoner, r.i.p. 10-30-07, RobbieFulks.Com [your complete source for Robbie Fulks on the web], online (accessed 02-
If nothing else, read Fulks' obituary to confirm what you always suspected to be the case between Wagoner and Dolly Parton. But that's the sizzle. Fulks gives us a songwritter's respect for Wagoner's ability to make a song real to every member of an audience. And who in popular music ever dressed as outrageously as Porter Wagoner? It meant something, and now it's gone.
"Like Cash, he was instrumental in bringing country music out of the tents and pool halls and into a million living rooms. Rather than [trying] to sand completely down his coarser, slightly menacing edge, he incorporated it into his telegenic public personality, cannily. His 1960s LPs indicated his avidity to use the medium as more than a clothesline for singles and filler tracks, and his most lurid songs (Rubber Room, Cold Hard Facts of Life, Skid Row Joe, Carroll County Accident) extend country's tragic-ballad tradition with a contemporary narrative voice, sound effects and other louche touches, and – I like to think this is true, anyway – a wink and a smile, somewhere back in there."