Picks and Pans Review: Today
Last fall Wagoner began to bad-mouth his old duet partner-protégée. “Dolly Parton is the kind of person I would never trust with anything of mine,” he snapped. “Regardless of what it was or who it was—I mean her family, her own blood—she would turn her back on them to help herself.” He has now sued her for $3 million plus, which, by his lawyer’s reckoning, is 15 percent of her earnings since they split in 1974. But if Porter feels somehow betrayed that Dolly has wandered away from the country music career he helped build, he himself has remained true to the genre. In this album—his second post-Parton—he has gathered some fine tunes by such reliables as Don Gibson and Mel Tillis, and his own singing is still pleasantly twangy and unpretentious. There’s no need to feel sorry for Wagoner: He produces disco records at his own Fireside Studios in Nashville and has interests in motels, real estate and meat packing. Not bad for a sixth-grade dropout.