Click to listen

Click to listen

Sept. 19: A West Tennessee road sign led RCA Victor record producer Bob Ferguson to write one of the signature songs in the career of Porter Wagoner — a small-town soap opera of nearly 3 minutes that was recorded 41 years ago today.

Ferguson was on a trip to Mississippi on U.S. 70 when he spied the “entering Carroll County” sign. He says by the time he got to Carroll County, Miss., it was done. (Although I once heard Porter say on the radio that he provided his producer with the idea for the ending, which I won’t spoil by revealing here. You’ll have to listen.)

Wagoner was riding high in the late ’60s. Though his records were only sporadically in the top reaches of the charts, he was reaching hundreds of thousands of fans each week with his influential syndicated TV show, and his duets with Dolly Parton were making a splash. “The Carroll County Accident” topped the Cashbox chart and reached No. 2 on Billboard in 1968-69.

Bob Ferguson (click to learn more)

Bob Ferguson (click to learn more)

It was the second songwriting hit for Ferguson, who’d penned Ferlin Husky’s smash “Wings Of A Dove” a decade earlier. In 1969, Ferguson won the CMA Song of the Year award for “The Carroll County Accident.” Click on Ferguson’s photo to read more about this Music Row renaissance man.

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