Porter Wagoner Wanted Nothing to Do With Dolly Parton Before She Joined His Show

In 1967, Dolly Parton started showing on The Porter Wagoner Show. When she met with Wagoner, she had no concept that he would provide her the life-changing function. Nonetheless, she was fast to settle for it. It was a very good stroke of luck, as Wagoner needed little to do with Parton earlier than he met her.

Porter Wagoner didn’t need Dolly Parton on his present

Within the latter half of the Nineteen Sixties, Parton started making a reputation for herself in Nashville. 

Everybody you ran into was talking about Dolly Parton. Everybody,” journalist Invoice Littleton recalled within the ebook Dolly by Alanna Nash. “They all had a Dolly Parton story, they all knew her, and everybody had been to lunch with her. It was like the town had adopted her, and she was the fair-haired child. Every time you’d turn around. There was no way to stop her.”

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton | GAB Archive/Redferns

Wagoner was conscious of Parton, however he believed she wasn’t “country enough” and had betrayed the style by singing pop songs.

“Someone had brought up her name to him as a singer, and he just wasn’t gonna have anything to do with Dolly,” his former worker mentioned. “It was also before he met her.”

Porter Wagoner modified his opinion of Dolly Parton

After Parton launched “Dumb Blonde” and “Something Fishy,” Wagoner’s opinion of her started to shift. Before lengthy, he believed she can be the proper particular person to exchange his singer, Norma Jean. He invited her to his workplace, the place she performed him a music she wrote about her husband, Carl Dean, fishing.

“This song told me so much about her,” Wagoner mentioned. “I knew that if a person could sit down and write a song like that, they’d have to have a real soul inside them.”

He additionally knew her bubbly persona would work nicely on tv. It didn’t take lengthy for him to provide her a spot on the present.

“There was a lot that sold me on Dolly, but I think the deciding factor was Dolly’s personality — her warmth, her sincerity, her bein’ a real person,” he mentioned. “She’s the kind of girl you can take anywhere under any conditions to meet anyone, and they’d like her . .. She has the type of personality I could sell to people on television and in person.”

She didn’t hesitate to settle for his provide

When Parton met with Wagoner, she thought he would be contemplating her songs for Norma Jean to carry out. It got here as a shock, then, when he provided her a everlasting spot on the present.

“I just stood there with my mouth open,” she wrote in her ebook Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business. “Now Porter became the businessman. His brow furrowed up a little bit as he said with conviction, ‘All I can offer you is sixty thousand a year.’ I was almost completely dumbfounded by the offer and the dollar amount, but I tried to act cool.”

A black and white picture of Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner with their faces close together. She wears her hair in a beehive.
Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Pictures

She tried to keep a poker face, however couldn’t for too lengthy.

“Everything I had ever heard from my daddy about horse trading and everything I had ever learned from Uncle Bill about the music business quickly flashed through my mind,” she wrote. “Porter looked a little puzzled and prodded me with ‘Will you accept that?’ I said with the best poker face I could put on, ‘I’ll have to think about it … Yes I will.’ So much for horse trading.”

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