Marty Stuart IS Country Music. Now He’s a Hall of Famer
Nobody does more to preserve the history and pay forward the legacy of country music than Marty Stuart, musician or otherwise. And now that boy from Philadelphia, Mississippi who gave himself completely to the music at the tender age of 12 is officially a Hall of Famer.
Along with announcing Hank Williams Jr. as the Veterans Era nominee for the 2020 Hall of Fame class, and songwriter Dean Dillon in the rotating class of non-performers in the songwriting category, Marty Stuart is the 2020 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the Modern Era category.
“It is the ultimate honor in country music,” said Marty Stuart. “I’m so honored to be included in this class and I’m honored to be included alongside Hank Jr. and Dean Dillon. I love those people. To be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is beyond words. I’m usually not at a loss for words.”
If there was ever a performer in country music history who may have not racked up the monster sales and charting numbers that normally qualify you for induction into the Hall of Fame rotunda, but deserves induction for the preservation work they’ve done for the genre as a whole, it would be Marty Stuart.
Many of the artifacts that adorn the Country Music Hall of Fame come from Marty Stuart’s personal collection, which is one of the biggest in private ownership. In the 80’s and 90’s when country music experienced a big commercial boost from Hall of Famers like Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson, entire wardrobes of vintage country music stage clothing, as well as reams of artifacts and boxes of mementos were ending up in thrift stores and dumpsters all around Music City. Marty Stuart personally took it upon himself to rescue many of these pieces of history and preserve them for the future.
Stuart’s collection has become so large, he’s commissioned the Congress of Country Music in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi to house and present all the artifacts, along with holding workshops, concerts, and symposiums. Stuart has also spent years photographing country legends and important places to further preserve the music’s legacy. The guitar Marty Stuart plays his Clarence White’s classic Fender Telecaster B-bender—one of the most important instruments in country music history.
But despite the lack of major mainstream country music success in his career, Marty Stuart’s contributions to the music itself are just as vast and impressive. A country music lifer, Marty Stuart began performing at the age of 12 with the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers, and then did stints as an understudy in the bands of Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash. In the early 90’s he achieved his greatest commercial acclaim, charting eight Top 20 hits, including “Hillbilly Rock” and “Tempted,” and toured regularly with Travis Tritt under their “No Hats” name.
In the early 2000’s when the hits stopped coming, Marty Stuart released his magnum opus, the conceptualized double album The Pilgrim to great critical acclaim. Later he formed the Fabulous Superlatives, which currently includes “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson and, Chris Scruggs. Marty Stuart owns four Grammy Awards among other accolades, and his 2017 record Way Out West was highly acclaimed, including being nominated for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year. In 2019, he was named the Hall of Fame’s “Artist-In-Residence,” which has often preceded formal induction into the institution.
Marty Stuart was married briefly to Cindy Cash, one of the daughters of Hall of Famer Johnny Cash. Stuart is currently married to fellow Country Music Hall of Famer Connie Smith. For Marty Stuart, country music is his life. When he was 11-years-old, Marty Stuart saw Connie Smith perform at the Choctaw Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Awe struck, he told his mother that Connie was the prettiest woman he’d ever seen, and that he would marry her someday. 27 years later, Marty Stuart did. Marty’s one request when he was told he would be inducted into the Hall of Fame was that Connie Smith gets to formally induct him when the upcoming Medallion Ceremony happens.
Beyond all the resume points, it’s easy to conclude that nobody embodies the spirit and history of country music more than Marty Stuart. Many of the artifacts and music that he contributed to or preserved already hangs on the walls of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Now, Marty Stuart finally gets to be in there himself, and deservedly so, and forever.
August 12, 2020 @ 9:50 am
Fantastic news! So very deserved.
I this is the most deserving group of inductees since the Mandrell/Clark/McCoy group more than 10 years ago.
Danny L McIntire
August 12, 2020 @ 9:52 am
Marty Stuart’s tv show was the last televised appearance of so many hall-of-famers who have gone on, e.g. Kitty Wells, Earl Scruggs, and several others.
August 12, 2020 @ 10:26 am
Good point. Marty Stuart has said himself that he set up that show to give older artists an opportunity to be showcased in the modern era and help preserve their legacy. Don Maddox, Ralph Mooney, so many others have made some of their final public appearances on that show. The Marty Stuart Show will only grow more important over time because of that.
August 12, 2020 @ 4:14 pm
I believe Charlie Louvin made his last television appearance on the Stuart program.
August 14, 2020 @ 6:15 am
You’re right. Charlie ,died like a week after. He about died during the taping. It was something Charlie wanted to do. His Doctor was there.
August 14, 2020 @ 7:50 am
August 12, 2020 @ 4:30 pm
That show is a national treasure. A pity it is no longer.
Mairi Ann Cullen
September 26, 2020 @ 3:41 pm
Such a well-deserved honour! Marty Stuart embodies country music! He is a phenomenal musician, hugely talented photographer and, thank goodness, he is also a consumate historian and custodian of the genre. A true star.
August 12, 2020 @ 9:57 am
We have both been passionate Marty supporters for quite some time. One thing I know is Marty is one of the most respected country artists by other genres. Among his list of accomplishments is scoring the film “All The Pretty Horses”. I believe he was nominated for a Golden Globes award for that one.
I am beyond happy for him as well as Hank Jr. and Dean Dillon.
Billy Wayne Ruddick
August 12, 2020 @ 10:05 am
One of, if not the, best in the business. Well deserved!
August 12, 2020 @ 10:17 am
I attended two amazing concerts by Marty and the Superlatives last year and “Way Out West” was a key album in getting me listening to (real) Country/Western music full time. Congrats Marty!
August 12, 2020 @ 10:33 am
Nothing else I can say to this but…Yup. All of this.
August 12, 2020 @ 11:00 am
It makes Marty and Connie the first living married couple in the hall at time of second induction. George and Tammy were divorced when Tammy was inducted and AP and Sara were divorced when they went in with the Carter Family. Boudleaux Bryant was deceased when he and Felice were inducted in 1991. It makes a lot of sense to have Connie be the one inducting Marty.
August 12, 2020 @ 11:36 am
I’m very happy to hear that Marty is in the Hall of Fame now. I’d always respected him as a figure in the genre but it wasn’t until I saw him perform at a festival in the UK a few years ago that I realised what a true all-rounder he is. I’m elated for him as he’s been worthy of induction for a long time.
I’m hoping next year that they finally honour Wanda Jackson who always seems to be overlooked when it comes to HoF discussions.
August 12, 2020 @ 11:58 am
“and then I woke up” — hall of famer Marty Stuart
Sir Adam the Great
August 12, 2020 @ 2:41 pm
I got that reference.
August 12, 2020 @ 1:00 pm
Well deserved. I’m a big fan since I saw Marty and his Superlatives at Merlefest some years ago, and his TV show is on permanent rotation on my YouTube.
Timon in the Netherlands
The Reeves Brothers
August 12, 2020 @ 1:10 pm
There is not one person that deserves it anymore than Marty! Hottest band in country music, and knows more about it than anyone!
August 13, 2020 @ 7:17 am
The Reeves Brothers ? Saw yall at Ameripolitan. You guys rock! (In a honky tonk way) Any new music on the horizon?
Loved your sets with Zeph O’Hora and Summer Dean btw.
The Reeves Brothers
August 15, 2020 @ 10:56 pm
Thanks Kevin! We appreciate that man! Our new album “The Last Honky-Tonk” will be available everywhere August 28th. Our 1st single “100 Proof Honky-Tonk”, off the album, is available everywhere now!
August 12, 2020 @ 5:50 pm
Hot damn, good for you Marty.
August 13, 2020 @ 1:39 am
My parents first saw and met Marty when he was playing with Lester Flatt. Since that day, we have become friends with him and his family. I consider him my brother from another mother. We’re so proud of all he has accomplished and feel blessed that we got to be there to go along for the ride through the years. It’s long overdue, but we’re so happy that this day has finally come! Congrats to Marty!
August 14, 2020 @ 8:16 am
If I was that talented I would probably be an insufferable, egotistical jerk. He seems like he probably isn’t, probably the exact opposite in fact.
He played Atlanta on March 12th, just when everything was blowing up due to the virus. I had been on several airline flights the prior 2-3 weeks, including a flight home on March 11th, and got the heebie-jeebies about going to an indoor venue so we ate our 5th row tickets. Still sad about that decision.
August 13, 2020 @ 3:40 am
Marty’s memorabilia collection is valued at $25 million. I would not be surprised if that Clarence White guitar doesn’t constitute up to 1/25th of it. And he paid $1,450 for it and got some other items thrown in with the deal.
Good on ‘The Keeper of the Flame.’
August 13, 2020 @ 9:40 am
August 13, 2020 @ 9:43 am
Good luck to him as he really supports the legends and traditions of country music but is that why he got it? However, musically, I can think of artists who are far more deserving and my guess is Marty would probably agree.
August 13, 2020 @ 2:22 pm
Did you watch the Ken Burns 20-hour series called “Country Music”? In it, it becomes obvious why Stuart is considered Hall-worthy. You’re right; he only had a few hits. But he is a major contributor.
August 14, 2020 @ 12:02 am
I did. Thought it was excellent. I have seen and enjoyed Marty’s music for some time. I am happy he is honoured in this way but I still think there are others perhaps who have achieved more musically and are more deserving musically. Having said that, he is more deserving than some of the previous recipients.
August 14, 2020 @ 8:36 am
You make the same mistake so many here do when commenting on HOF inductees. It does not matter who is in or not in yet. It is not relative. A person’s worthiness should stand on their own contributions and body of work. Marty’s well-rounded work as an artist, producer, writer, film-scorer, preservationist, etc. is exhaustive.
I do understand what you mean so I am not nit-picking. It’s just that every time the HOF announces the new round of inductees, comparisons are made by many to those who have not been inducted yet.
August 14, 2020 @ 8:40 am
Fair comment…..not disagreeing……..I am happy for him. He is certainly not unworthy! His love and enthusiasm for country music is infectious.
Something Always Told Me They Were Reading Tommy Wrong
August 13, 2020 @ 10:06 am
I am a fan of this guy. Good for him! He should be in the scarf-wearers’ hall of fame, too.
August 13, 2020 @ 11:14 am
He and the Superlatives toured with Chris Hillman & Roger McGuinn, celebrating the “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album by The Byrds.
August 14, 2020 @ 6:21 am
Congrats to Marty Stuart.No one has paid their dues to Country Music/Bluegrass,and Gospel, like Marty Stuart. He wrote some great Gospel Songs he recorded with Jerry & Tammy Sullivan. Look at the Country Songs and Instrumentals he has written. He have up his early Teen life and never went back home to travel with Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass, then on to Johnny Cash, then his own right and Status. He’s a Preservationist (not just Music, but Artifacts/Nudie Suits,Photographs)and Honored Traditional Country and Rock -n-Roll Pioneers. He is currently working on opening the Congress of Country Music in his hometown of Philadelphia,Miss. Make a donation to it, won’t you ? https://congressofcountrymusic.org/
August 14, 2020 @ 6:40 am
Every time I see Marty and the Fabulous Superlatives I’m gobsmacked that he’s playing the smaller (but quality) venues when he should be playing arenas. At least. Also by how old the crowd is. Then they come out and blow you away with their musicianship.
He one of those rare artists that I don’t care what he plays live, I’ll know it and like it. See also, Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, The Rolling Stones…
Well deserved. To be honest, and I don’t follow it that closely, I was surprised he wasn’t already in.
August 14, 2020 @ 8:18 am
He’d be a great headliner at Mile 0 Fest if and when that happens again.
August 14, 2020 @ 5:19 pm
A few years ago, Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlative opened for Chris Stapleton on some cities of his summer tour. The fact that Chris Stapleton invited them on the tour showed his deep respect for Marty and the band and their music. The fact that Marty did the gig showed his respect for the work that Chris Stapleton was doing and that he puts the music above his own ego and didn’t need to be a headliner to give a first class performance. Superlative is an understatement of the talent in that band. Kenny Vaughan can shred with the best and Marty Stuart can go note for note with him. He may not be considered a superstar in terms of selling out stadiums, album sales, or downloads but Marty Stuart has an extensive discography that crosses multiple genres and showcases his unique talents and musicianship.
August 15, 2020 @ 8:20 am
I believe Marty’s show that brought out these older artists, some for their last appearance, is a treasure in itself. Prophetic of sorts.
August 21, 2020 @ 7:28 pm
Marty Stuart-a fucking country LEGEND- enters the HOF, and the post has 36 comments. Meanwhile, a story about a spit-on-a-hot-sidewalk like Unknown Hinson has 150. On a site called Saving Country Music. We are in trouble people.
May 24, 2021 @ 1:38 pm
Marty Stuart is the most talented, wonderful person theh hall of fame will ever induct; I have been a fan since 92& I couldn’t admire him more. Congrats Marty
August 16, 2021 @ 11:58 am
I’ve been on a country music journey ever since I began taking Zoom guitar lessons to begin to get my skills back in April 2020 with Dr Elyas Isaacs. She’s an awesome guitar and banjo picker and is a Carter scholar.
So…along with practicing guitar again, I began researching the Carters and have listened to a and read about country music from since 1927. YouTube tossed Marty Stuart into my feed about June 2020. Oh man, I am so incredibly grateful for that.
Marty’s does indeed manifest the best qualities of a musician. I love his music, the interviews that he takes, his MC’ing the CMHOFM Fundraiser last fall, his performances there, including with Carlene Carter, the whole planning of the event. Just terrific!
So…a few items on my in the next few years’ to do list:
A Marty Stuart and his Marvelous Superlatives Concert (Connie Smith) ~ I hope ~~ October 2021.
Nashville: The Ryman, CMHOFM, Grand Old Opry, MHOFM, Musicians Row, Hendersonville, any other places I’m allowed to tour, to view; also go to a Marty or Dolly Parton or French Family Band concert if I can.
Hiltons VA: The Carter Fold;
Alabama (I’ve forgotten the name of Marty’s home town) The Congress of Counry Music, that I think has been completed or will be soon.
Congratulations to Marty!
I am a fan!