A new face will be showcased next week in the Hall of Famous Missourians. Country music legend and West Plains native Porter Wagoner will be inducted Monday as the 47th member. His bust will join the many others sitting in the third floor of the Missouri Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City, including television journalist Walter Cronkite, conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, and the 33rd U.S. President – Harry Truman.

The Missouri House and Senate convene on January 9, 2019 for a joint session to commemorate the 100th General Assembly (photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at House Communications)

Wagoner and singer Dolly Parton became a well-known duo on The Porter Wagoner Show throughout the late 1960s and early 70s. His first band, the Blue Ridge Boys, performed on Missourinet affiliate KWPM in West Plains from a butcher shop in town, where Wagoner cut meat. He also performed on Springfield radio station KWTO in southwest Missouri.

Wagoner, nicknamed “Mr. Grand Ole Opry”, died in 2007 at the age of 80. He’s in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville and Porter Wagoner Boulevard is located in his southern Missouri hometown of West Plains. 

Monday’s 1 p.m. ceremony is open to the public in the 4th floor upper House gallery. A reception in the 3rd floor Capitol Rotunda will follow.

Wagoner was nominated by former Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, who will serve as the Master of Ceremonies on Monday. Representative David Evans, R-West Plains, has helped to organize the event in cooperation with Richardson.

According to Evans’ office, special guests include Wagoner’s granddaughter and representatives of KWPM and KWTO radio. A special video from Dolly Parton will also be showcased.

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