Porter Wagoner, “Committed to Parkview”
While Amy Winehouse sings about not going to rehab, country legend Porter Wagoner does a sympathetic roll call inside the walls of the Parkview mental hospital. Recorded by the Highwaymen back in the mid-80’s, Wagoner’s take is now the definitive version. Sparsely produced and haggardly sung, Wagoner’s inside take on daily life among the committed is haunting because of his unaffected performance. It’s unlike anything else you’re likely to hear this century, and is essential listening.
Listen: Committed to Parkview
Wow! High praise, I’ll have to check it out.
This is Porter’s “Hurt”. I feared since we lost Johnny Cash in 2003, that we has learned nothing from the amazing final years of his amazing life. Under the production of Rick Rubin, Johnny found a new audience that needed him; needed his music. As mainstream country, and the idiots, I mean powers that be in country radio ignored Johnny as just another has-been, they missed out on some of the greatest work the man ever did. We didn’t. We heard it loud and clear. We realized the genius among us, and we clung to him for dear life. Then, just like that, he was gone. And too many of us forgot. Said he was the last of the breed, and we’d just missed out.
The, like a trusty old train, here comes Porter. Too many of the current country crowd simply asked, “Who?” Porter’s been around. And then some. He’s been a regular on the Opry for over half of it’s existance. That, my friend, is the definition of timeless. This is the man for whom Dolly Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You”.
Unlike his rhinestone suits, Porter has never put himself off as polished, nor squeaky clean. He’s been around. Young folks, go find “The Cold Hard Facts of Life” and give it a good listen. This is not new territory for the old Wagonmaster. He’s been there. Literally. And I’ll take that over the polished and produced s#@t that comes out of Nashville today. Sparse, simple, real. Listen up folks, and listen good. They just don’t make em like this anymore.
Sums it up perfectly.
R.I.P. Wagon Master
we’ll miss you, rest in peace
Another example of a song dealing with real-life troubles.
And, as such, another example of a song that country radio will ignore in favor of faux dirt-road anthems.