Country music legend Porter Wagoner recorded several quasi-concept albums based around social problems like homelessness, alcoholism, prison life, infidelity and murder (Wagoner even sang of insanity in his berserk classic, “Rubber Room.”)
On albums like Confessions of a Broken Man, Soul of a Convict & Other Great Prison Songs and The Cold Hard Facts of Life, Wagoner, who normally sang more conventional fare, plumbed quite lurid depths for such a beloved hillbilly entertainer.
His alter ego, for this material was often a character called “Skid Row Joe” who made several appearances on Wagoner’s syndicated television show in 60s and 70s.(“Skid Row Joe” wore hobo attire that made it easy to tell him apart from the flashy entertainer with the blond pompadour and glitzy Nudie-tailored stage-wear).
This song is about “Skid Row Joe,” who some have claimed was modeled after troubled honky tonk singer Lefty Frizzell.
Found at the mighty PCL Linkdump