Great Philosophers of the 20th Century #13: Porter Wagoner


Lord you should've seen their frantic faces
They screamed and cried please put away that knife
I guess I'll go to hell or I'll rot here in the cell
But who taught who the cold hard facts of life?

15 comments:

Sam said...

Damn, that is a hard, cold cover. Plus this is the first time I've ever seen Porter in anything that's not fringed. I used to watch hisw syndicated tv show as a kid and remember seeing him and Dolly Parton in fringed shirts all the time. Good times, good times...

swac said...

I've loved that cover for almost 20 years, since I first spotted it during a friend's show at the local campus station. I managed to secure my own a few years later. It is weird seeing Porter in civvies, but in some ways it makes it creepier. It's like he's coming home from tour, tired and worn out, and look what awaits him.

I also had that exact couch for many years, which makes looking at this cover that much more painful.

Tom Sutpen said...

What's even creepier is that poor Porter's wife is making merry with a guy looks a little like Owen Bradley!

What's that all about?

Ivan G. said...

The Cold Hard Facts of Life is probably my favorite Porter Wagoner song--well, that and Misery Loves Company.

I concur with all three of you gentleman on the cover, too--nicely done.

swac said...

There are tons of classic Porter tunes, with great titles. The Carroll County Accident, Sorrow on the Rocks, I Dreamed I Saw America on its Knees, and the bizarre, reverb-drenched The Rubber Room. The man was absolutely fearless.

Tom Sutpen said...

I haven't heard too many stories about Porter, so I dunno if he's as big a nutjob as, say, Buck Owens (whose music I sometimes can't get enough of), but he did come up with some deranged songs in his day.

"The Rubber Room" is just . . . crazy.

swac said...

A friend of mine saw this post and felt compelled to ask me if everything was okay. Yes, I'm fine. There's nothing that a pitcher of Keith's and a night of hurtin' honky tonk tunes won't fix.

Kingo Gondo said...

Awesome cover.

Is everyone aware that DirecTV and Dish Network viewers have a channel that shows the old Porter Wagoner shows? It's called RFD TV. Last week they showed a B&W episode (from 1965, I believe, if TV Tome is accurate) with guest Lefty Frizzle--just jaw-dropping to see.

RFD also has the old Wilburn Brothers shows--a couple of weeks ago they had a mindfucker with Ernest Tubb and Lorreta Lynn dueting on Who's Gonna Take The Garbage Out?

These are, by far, the two shows I most look forward to on television--even more than those cocksuckers on Deadwood.

swac said...

Wow...I'd love to see those shows. I have some of that colour country TV footage from the '50s that was making the rounds in syndication about a decade or so ago, and that Crown International film Road to Nashville with studio performances by the likes of Marty Robbins and Merle Haggard, but nothing like what you've described.

And watch what you say about the Deadwood crew...one of those cocksuckers may be lurking on here!

Kingo Gondo said...

This week's Porter Wagoner Show (they have a "new" one every Friday) show will feature Red Sovine:

http://snipurl.com/di3y

The older PW shows have Norma Jean Beasler as the female vocalist; the later ones, Dolly of course. The band is just great, most particularly Mack Magaha on fiddle and Buck Trent on banjo. And then there's Speck Rhodes....

RFD shows them at random, it seems--one week (like last week) will be a B&W episode, the next color (not "colour", bub). They do the same with the Wilburn Brothers Show (a "new" one debuts every Thursday). The Wilburns have Loretta Lynn (!!!) as "their" female singer--when Dottie West was the featured guest, Loretta smoked her a Smithfield ham (and I like Dottie).

Last week's Deadwood was just great, if only for the story Calamity Jane told about the Finn who wanted to "suck her cock"--that was priceless.

Beaver was pretty prominent in the episode 2 weeks ago--good for him.

Tom Sutpen said...

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

You guys are killin' me with all this talk of the old PW show and the RFD network and such. You know, some of us don't get these channels . . . and we'd rather not know what we're missing!!

Kingo Gondo said...

Satellite of Love.

Check this out:

http://snipurl.com/diag

Kingo Gondo said...

To confirm my role as ramp-f's resident sadist (well, one of them at least)....

Tonight's show was awesome. A B&W "Norma Jean" episode, Red Sovine was just magnificent--he did "Why Baby Why?" and "Little Rosa", in a pretty nifty Nudie suit of his own. And speaking of clothes, PW was in what looked liked gold lame--it was almost iridescent in B&W, for god's sake (yes, I know that's not literally possible, but there you have it).

And Mack Magaha tore the Wagon House down with an instramental (the name escapes me...Smith's something or other--PW joked about the title himself, saying all he knew is that it had something to do with the Smith family).

The only thing missing from the B&W shows is that intro focusing on PW's leather boots click-clacking down the hallway to the studio--that is one of the classic openings for any television show, ever.

Tom Sutpen said...

You're cruel, Kingo . . .

Croo-ull . . .

Anyone ever wanna work out a trade for tapes of these shows, let me know and I'm there.

Kingo Gondo said...

I have a tape of a few episodes, but it is real cruddy--recorded at EP (on a crappy old machine) for a friend. Let me get a couple of episodes at SP and I'll send them along.