other notable deaths

November 01, 2007

PORTER WAGONER, 80 Country music star

Porter Wagoner, a country singer who mixed rhinestone suits, a towering cotton-candy pompadour and cornball jokes with direct, simple songs over a career best known for his partnership with Dolly Parton, died Sunday in Nashville, Tenn. He was 80 and lived in Nashville.

He had been hospitalized with lung cancer, the Grand Ole Opry said in announcing his death.

Mr. Wagoner had 81 singles on the country charts, including 29 Top 10 records. His hits included "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Skid Row Joe" and "The Cold Hard Facts of Life."

He was famous for capturing straight up the raw emotions of people living tough lives, sometimes using his speaking voice in an old-time country technique called recitation.

For 21 years, he was the host of The Porter Wagoner Show, which was eventually syndicated in 100 markets, reaching 3.5 million viewers a week and giving many of them their first brush with country music.

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