Dolly Parton

My Favorite Songwriter, Porter Wagoner

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The songs on My Favorite Songwriter are cut from the same cloth as Dolly’s originals -- they’re story-songs that verge on the melodramatic -- but Wagoner favors lurid exaggeration over spare, finely honed details. Consequently, this LP touches upon country corn, coming in the form of the overheated moody recitation “Bird That Never Flew” and the stomping “Washday Blues,” both totems of Nashville’s early-‘70s panache. Of course, this country kitsch has its appeal as an artifact, particularly when it’s paired with a bunch of strong straight-ahead country as it is here -- it’s just that, when compared with Parton’s all-originals The Fairest of Them All, My Favorite Songwriter winds up inadvertently revealing who the better songwriter of these two is.

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