Don Warden was born on born March 27, 1929, and died on March 11, 2017.
He was an American country musician and manager.
He best known for his years on The Porter Wagoner Show and as the manager of Wagoner and Dolly Parton.
His parents were Reverend and Mrs. Charles Warden in Mt. Grove, Missouri, Warden grew up singing in church.
He was a self-taught player, Warden was influenced by Leon McAuliffe with Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys.
He formed his own band during high school, The Rhythm Rangers, playing steel guitar and singing.
Warden also had an afternoon radio show on KWPM-AM in West Plains, Missouri.
The band became famous, then moving on to Kennett, Missouri’s KBOA-AM and KHWN-AM in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and gigs in East Texas honky tonks; eventually leading to Louisiana Hayride, backing The Wilburn Brothers and Red Sovine.
He left the show in 1951 for a two-year stint with the US Army.
After going back to the Hayride after the Army, the Rhythm Rangers continued to back Red Sovine until Sovine left to join the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, leaving his band behind.
He moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended flight school and played local clubs in his spare time.
Don Warden passed away at 87 years old.