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Late-Career Masterpieces


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10. Porter Wagoner - 'Wagonmaster' (2007)
wagonmaster album cover

Wagonmaster (2007)

Image courtesy of Anti Records

Country musicians have a career longevity that's rare in the world of rock 'n' roll. Many have released their best work well past retirement age. So it's high time we looked at late-period classics from country legends.

Porter Wagoner gained hipster cred in the 21st century for his left-field repertoire. Creepy songs like "First Mrs. Jones" and "The Cold Hard Facts of Life" were collected in the 2006 compilation The Rubber Room. Released in 2007, Wagonmaster was a fitting goodbye to the singer, who died the same year. Porter showed he had lost none of his trademark weirdness with "Committed to Parkview," about being interred in a mental hospital (it was written for the singer by Johnny Cash). Although the disillusion of Wagoner's partnership with Dolly Parton occasioned her bittersweet classic "I Will Always Love You," the album's "My Many Hurried Southern Trips" (co-written by Parton) proves he still doesn't mind sharing royalties with the heartbreaker.

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