Famous Country Duo Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner Didn’t Just Fight — They Also Had Some Fun

Article Highlights:

  • Porter Wagoner was a “jokester”
  • Dolly Parton used to love hanging out with Wagoner and his friends
  • Parton, Wagoner, and the band became a family when they were on the road

It’s no secret that Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner had a difficult relationship. The famous country duo got into frequent heated arguments when they worked together on The Porter Wagoner Show, and their relationship only grew more strained after the “Jolene” singer left. But it wasn’t all bad. In her 2020 book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, Parton reminisces about the good times she had with her old partner.

Porter Wagoner loved to make Dolly Parton laugh

While Parton and Wagoner sang a lot of serious songs, they had quite a few funny songs in their repertoire, too. Parton wrote that they were only able to pull those off because Wagoner “had a great sense of humor.”

“He was a prankster, he was a jokester, and he had great stories,” she wrote. “He just loved to do things to make me laugh. When he was at his best, there was no one more fun to be around.”

When the partners fought, it was about business. But when they weren’t talking business, they were having a good time.

“It was only when he would clash over business things that we would have our rows,” she wrote. “He had a bad temper, and when it flared, it flared. But when he was in good spirits, he was a joy.”

Porter Wagoner had a lot of friends

The “9 to 5” singer wrote that her partner was a well-loved person.

“Porter had a lot of friends,” she wrote. “He had a lot of golfing buddies and a lot of fishing buddies, and they loved being with him.”

Parton remembers the infectious fun Wagoner and his pals used to have.

“There was a lot of joy and a lot of fun on the bus,” she wrote. “He had [a] wonderful band, and they had a good time with him. They played golf together all the time. I’d often go with them and ride around on the golf cart just to see how much fun they were having.”

Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, and the band were ‘bonded like a family’

Parton, Wagoner, and the band became incredibly close.

“People don’t realize that when you work with a band on the road you are bonded like a family,” she wrote. “And we were on the road so much.”

But just like with regular families, there’s both good and bad.

“It’s just like when you’re with your own family,” she wrote. “When you’re with somebody all the time, you love them one day, and you want to kill them the next. Because they get on your last nerve, and I’m sure you get on theirs, too. But you do get to know exactly who they are.”

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