Dolly Parton is just a fledgling star trying to make it in the 1960s country music scene. She receives an offer of a breakthrough in the form of working with Porter Wagoner on The Porter Wagoner Show. Singing duets with the titular country singer, Dolly rose to immense fame! Many years into her tenure, she wants to break out of the male singer’s shadow, which he isn’t happy about. This becomes a feud that lasts for decades and costs Dolly $1 million. She forgives her old mentor and boss before his death in 2007. Join Facts Verse as we explore the real reason Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner split for good.
In 1967, Dolly Parton started working on The Porter Wagoner Show. The show establishes a hit with country music fans, and Dolly brings on to replace the show’s previous female singer. The fans were initially hesitant to accept Dolly but grew to appreciate her at the continued insistence of Porter Wagoner. Dolly releases her first album then hires on to the show and achieves much notoriety in the music industry. Her gig on The Porter Wagoner Show proves to be her big break. It is also something that will haunt her for many decades into her career. Once Dolly becomes a star of the show, Porter Wagoner becomes angry and tries to stop her from quitting. When he couldn’t, he proceeded to sue his former employee, resulting in a decades-spanning feud between the two ex-friends.
Towards the end of Dolly’s time on The Porter Wagoner Show, They will get into arguments behind the scenes. After Dolly left the show, Porter would slander her in the press, disparaging her at every opportunity. Though Dolly was hurt by her former employer’s unkind words, she refused to sink to his level. One of the things that Porter attacks Dolly is her appearance in Playboy magazine. Porter says won’t fly with female country singers of the past. Dolly claims that she’s never trying to be anyone but herself and that posing in Playboy makes sense for her.
Porter claims during the feud that Dolly isn’t a trustworthy person in general. She can’t count on not stabbing her own family in the back. Though Dolly has never had any children, she has seemingly always treated her husband well. The two have been together since before she and Porter Wagoner even met, and are still together to this day! Though Dolly’s husband likes to stay out of the spotlight, they have a very loving and exciting marriage.
Porter says that his mistrust of the singer is the reason that he fires her from The Porter Wagoner Show. Contrastingly, Dolly claimed that she wasn’t fired but that she had quit. It remains uncertain which side of the story is the truth. They have done their part in stirring the flames of their tumultuous relationship during their time on the show. Dolly had simply outgrown her stature as Porter’s female sidekick. She’s breaking away from Porter’s grasp with a bit of an ego. And she s certainly right in thinking that her career will blossom outside of the show.
Dolly starts performing on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967 and her last performance in country music is in 1974. She achieves greater stardom than ever as a solo artist and continues working with Porter Wagoner. She is a professional for several years, allowing the male singer to produce some of her biggest hits. By the end of the 1970s, Porter is less successful than ever and is growing increasingly jealous of Dolly’s superstardom.
If they’re able to make things work professionally for years after Dolly’s split from the show, their relationship dooms. Once Porter’s jealousy of his former female apprentice becomes too much for him to deal with. He slanders the star in the ways, as well as sues her for a sum of nearly $3 million.
There were numerous reasons that Porter felt he was owed the money. This range supposes breaches of contract to extravagant gifts that he gives Dolly while she is working on his show. The extravagant nature of these gifts adds fuel to the fire for theories. Dolly and Porter are in a romantic relationship during their time working together. If you’re enjoying this video so far, be sure to hit the like button to show your support! Also, subscribe to the channel if you’d like to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!
Dolly Parton starts her time on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967. She’s full with the firm conviction that she remains on the program until 1967. Due to both pressure from Porter himself and simply being happy with her job on the show, Dolly ended up staying for a few years beyond the amount of time that she had initially planned. By the time 1974 rolled around, Dolly couldn’t take it anymore. She planned her exit from the series, though Porter was still mad about her leaving.
Dolly had accepted her role on The Porter Wagoner Show for numerous reasons. For one thing, the gig meant a bigger paycheck than the singer had seen thus far in her career. For another thing, it was likely going to mean big things for her future as a singer. The show certainly ended up meaning big things for the singer’s career, as she became a bigger star than ever before. Once the audience accepted Dolly for who she was and stopped comparing her to the program’s prior female singer, Dolly’s time on the show blossomed into a decades-spanning career in country music.
Dolly was shocked when her former employer and friend decided to sue her for millions of dollars, but Porter claimed it was the only way that he could resolve the issue. He claimed to have reached out to Dolly’s camp to resolve the issue more amicably, but the superstar was too hard to get ahold of. Anyways, Dolly likely would have said no if her former employer had politely asked for millions of dollars.
The matter ended up being settled out of court, with Dolly agreeing to pay Porter a sum of $1 million. He arguably deserved nothing, and many felt that Dolly was giving her former boss more than she really owed him out of respect. For her part, Dolly claimed that the $1 million was hard for her to come up with, and she had to pay it in installments. However, it’s hard to believe that the superstar would have that hard of a time coming up with a measly $1 million.
On the matter of whether or not Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner ever had an affair during the filming of The Porter Wagoner Show, Dolly remains fairly adamant that no such thing ever occurred. According to her, it’s common in the country music scene for fans to fantasize and inevitably theorize about male and female artists getting it on behind the stage. However, Dolly claims that no such thing ever occurred between her and Porter. This comes despite the fact that part of Porter’s lawsuit against Dolly involved some incredibly extravagant gifts that seemed more like the kind that one would give to a lover than to an employee.
Dolly was married at the time that she performed on The Porter Wagoner Show, to the same man that she is married to today! If Dolly became involved in an affair with Porter Wagoner, it would’ve been an extramarital one. However, that wouldn’t have necessarily been out of the question for the two. Dolly has famously talked about having a somewhat open relationship with her longtime husband, and Porter Wagoner certainly slept around with as many of his female peers as he could. It stands to reason that a male star at the time likely would’ve balked at the prospect of hiring a female singer that wasn’t going to sleep with him.
Dolly always referred to Porter Wagoner as one of the great loves of her life. However, she had many reasons to hold the figure in reverence even if they weren’t romantically involved. Porter had offered Dolly a way into the country music scene, and he had also mentored her during her early days on the show. He had stuck his neck out for the female singer when the audience didn’t initially want to accept her as a replacement and had also helped produce many of the singer’s biggest hits. This is all part of why Dolly ended up agreeing to give Porter $1 million in the lawsuit and also part of why Dolly ended up forgiving him before his 2007 death.
When Porter Wagoner died in 2007, Dolly Parton was by his side. Along with his family, Dolly sang and prayed as Porter passed away peacefully. Dolly was glad to get the opportunity to put all the bad blood behind them and let things end on a positive note. Although Porter said some terrible things about Dolly during his lifetime, Dolly always refused to sink to the level of her original duet partner.
Although Dolly Parton claims that she never had an affair with Porter Wagoner, she could be lying! Now it’s time to hear from you: do you think Porter Wagoner was right to try and sue Dolly Parton for millions of dollars, or do you think that Dolly would’ve found success with or without him? As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!