Grand Ole Opry - Nashville, TN on September 27, 2008

The Grand Ole Opry celebrated Marty's 50th birthday (on September 30) with a night-long celebration. An hour was televised on GAC with guests Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Connie Smith, and Sharon and Cheryl White. It was a spectacular event and I hope you enjoy the screenshots from the evening.

Keith Urban opened the hour with "You Look Good In My Shirt." With only bassist Jerry Flowers and drummer Chris McHugh, you didn't get the full impact of Keith's amazing sound. The audience was much younger on this weekend. The Opry audience was then treated to a trip down memory lane with Marty's 37 years in the music business, featuring pictures, video, and Marty talking about those musical years.

Keith then asked the audience to join in singing "Happy Birthday" to Marty, who came out on stage. Little Jimmy Dickens and Marty's wife, Connie Smith wheeled out a beautiful birthday cake for Marty. Keith then performed "Raining On Sunday."

The TV audience was able to view Dressing Room #14 which belonged to the late Porter Wagoner. Marry was given the divine task of redecorating the room and it looks absolutely beautiful as you can tell from the screenshots. Marty decorated the room with amazing photographs and tapestries. It's a true memorial to Porter as well as the new permanent home at the Opry of Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives.

Next was Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band from North Carolina who performed "Georgie Buck." They remind me of the Old Crow Medicine Show (and will be opening for OCMS at the Ryman next month). Marty joined them on "Sourwood Mountain" and watched as banjoist Rhiannon Giddens did some high-stepping clogging in her bare feet.

Keith Urban returned to the stage to join Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives on "Now That's Country," with Keith totally changing the lyrics to the second verse of the song. You can tell how much Marty was enjoying the evening. Keith and Marty then sat on stools and sang the Hank Williams', Sr. classic, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry."

Can you tell Keith and Marty
were having a great time?

Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives performed La Tingo Tango (which appears on the Cool Country Favorites album). I should probably add that while GAC is in a commercial break, the Opry is still going on and you are missing some of the performances.

Dierks Bentley was not scheduled to perform on the Opry but Marty heard he was in town. It was a true highlight of the evening with Dierks singing "Tempted" (my favorite Marty song) and Marty trying his vocals on Dierks' hit "Lot Of Leaving Left To Do" (my favorite Dierks song).

Keith dedicated and performed (my favorite Keith song) "Who Wouldn't Want To Be Me" to Marty and Marty accompanying Keith on mandolin. The song sounds totally different with a mandolin bridge.


Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives performed "Country Boy Rock 'n Roll" (which, again, the TV audience did not get to enjoy).

Connie Smith, Sharon and Cheryl White performed "The Pilgrim" with Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives accompanying them. They Connie, Sharon and Cheryl did an amazing job on the vocals on a song that is dear to Marty's heart.

It was a truly enjoyable hour of entertainment. Marty hosted the 10:00 p.m. segment of the second Opry show, singing "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'." Connie sang a song she wrote about Marty that's on her Connie Smith album called "Looking For A Reason (Not To Love You)." Keith Urban was not scheduled to be on Marty's segment, but he came out and performed "You Look Good In My Shirt." Marty joined Keith on "Who Wouldn't WanT To Be Me" and Keith joined Marty on "Now That's Country," sticking to more of the lyrics this time around. Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives closed out the segment with "La Tingo Tango."

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