In 1967, he introduced singer Dolly Parton on his television show, and they were a well-known vocal duo throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Known as Mr. Grand Ole Opry, Wagoner charted 81 singles from 1954–1983. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2002. Wagoner was born in West Plains, Missouri, the son of Bertha May (née Bridges) and Charles E. Wagoner, a farmer. His first band, the Blue Ridge Boys, performed on radio station KWPM-AM from a butcher shop in his native West Plains, Missouri, where Wagoner cut meat. In 1951, he was hired by Si Siman as a performer on KWTO in Springfield, Missouri. This led to a contract with RCA Victor.