Marty Stuart To Headline Everly Concert

This appeared in The Central City Times-Argus - July 12, 1995

Homecoming VIII will go on as planned, but the future of the annual Central City (KY) Music Festival will depend on the success of this year's show.

The Everly Brothers Foundation announced Tuesday, July 11 that country music star Marty Stuart will headline the September 2 concert, which could feature another "big name" act as well as local and area talent.

"There will be a concert, which is what Don and Phil Everly wanted us to do--even if they are not here," said Mike Mercer, a member of the Everly Brothers Foundation Board of Directors.

The Everly Brothers may or may not attend this year's concert, depending on their schedule. Local favorite John Prine will definitely miss Homecoming VIII.

In 1993, the last year that Prine and the Everly Brothers performed at the Labor Day weekend concert, the event lost $37,851. Last year's concert drew a crowd of only 1,500 and lost $15,027.

"We need local support in the worst way. If we don't get support from the community, then this will be the last year for the concert," said Mercer. "We're giving people what they asked for--a big name act. Hopefully, we can get a good turnout."

Other details of Homecoming VIII will be announced in the next couple of weeks, including ticket prices.

It is expected that several of the other activities surrounding the music festival will be cut back. The concert itself will not be as long as usual, unless another major act is signed. The concert will still be held in the field behind Central City Elementary School.

Award -winning, singer-songwriter, Marty Stuart will perform Saturday, September 2 at the eighth annual Homecoming Concert. The Marty Party--Marty Stuart's unique style of music that combines all that is good and fun from country music's past, present and future--is the hottest show in country music in 1995.

The Marty Party is more than show, of course. It's a state of mind--a state of music built around Marty Stuart's wide-ranging talents as a singer, writer and musician--talents that have earned him two Grammys, a Country Music Association award and a gold record. His career on MCA Records is showcased on a new 12-cut CD, The Marty Party Hit Pack, and he is featured in four of his own TNN specials in 1995. In addition, the Marty Party hit Europe for his first solo appearances there in April as part of the New American Music Tour.

He will also be performing in Japan in October as part of the Country Gold Festival. His single "That's What Love's About" was the Nashville Network's top video for the week of December 26, 1994 and had the most requests of any TNN video in the last three years.

Five years ago, Marty Stuart was the Hillbilly Crusader, embarking on a one-man mission to install elements of classic country music into a new modern style. By 1995, he was widely recognized as one of the leading-edge indicators for country music, and he has also become one of the most in-demand personalities in the country music industry. He hosted the first British Country Music Awards in Birmingham, England on March 23. He was the music director as well as a performer on CBS-TV's "Best of Country Music" special in 1994.

He also was a performer and music director for the CBS-TV 1994 special "The Roots of Country Music: Nashville Celebrates the Ryman." In January 1995, he hosted NATA's 9th Annual Mid-South Emmy Awards Show, telecast on WDCN (PBS) and he presented an award and performed on Nashville's First Annual NAMMIE music awards show. His own Marvel comic book will be released in August.

Stuart's reverence for classic country artists has made him a hot commodity for tribute projects. In 1994, he performed on Asleep at the Wheel's Tribute To The Music Of Bob Wills, Mama's Hungry Eyes: The Merle Haggard Tribute. He sang "Don't Be Cruel," backed by the Jordanaires, which was released as the first single from the TV special and album It's Now Or Never--The Tribute To Elvis. He teamed up with the Staple Singers for a performance of "The Weight" on the Rhythm, Country & Blues project. He also contributed to the Red Hot + Country AIDS benefit album.

Marty is no new arrival to this musical party. The Mississippi native began absorbing country music from its primary sources at the age of 13 when he went on the road playing mandolin in Lester Flatt's bluegrass band. When Flatt died in 1979, he expanded his music playing a sort of bluegrass fusion with fiddler Vassar Clements and working with acoustic guitar great, Doc Watson. He then played guitar for six years with country legend Johnny Cash and his virtuosity prompted Cash to call Stuart his favorite guitar player.

Stuart graduated to his own solo album in 1982 with Busy Bee Cafe on the independent Sugar Hill label. The session band on the half-vocal, half-instrumental album attested to the respect he garnered from his peers: Doc Watson, Merle Watson and Johnny Cash on guitars, Jerry Douglas on dobro, Carl Jackson on banjo. He made his major label debut on CBS in 1986 with Marty Stuart. In the meantime, he was in high demand for session work, playing on albums for Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young and many country artists.

As he moved forward artistically, Marty carried with him the inspiration of past country greats. His on-stage guitar is country-rock pioneer Clarence White's 1954 Fender Telecaster with a steel guitar-like B-string bender. He also plays a Martin D-45 formerly owned by Hank Williams Sr. and a D-28 that was Lester Flatt's. His touring bus is a lovingly created and updated version of Ernest Tubb's old bus.

Marty made his breakthrough in 1989 with a song and album title that described his direction and a new direction for country music: Hillbilly Rock. The album, his first for MCA, was produced by Richard Bennett.

His second album, Tempted, yielded four hits: the title cut, "Little Things," "Till I Found You" and "Burn Me Down." In the meantime, he duetted with Travis Tritt on "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," which became a hit record. They teamed up for a co-headlining "No Hats Tour" which was also featured as a Pay-Per-View event in 1992. They won the Vocal Event of the Year Award from the Country Music Association in 1992 and a Grammy for "Whiskey" in 1993. Marty also became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1992, 20 years after his first appearance on the Opry stage at the age of 13.

This One's Gonna Hurt You, Marty's third album, was highlighted by another duet with his friend Travis Tritt on the title cut. The result was Marty's first gold album, with sales of over 500,000 units.

Stuart then spent the better part of two years writing and recording the music for his fourth album, Love And Luck, which he co-produced with Tony Brown. He received his second Grammy in 1994 for his participation in "Red Wing" from the Bob Wills tribute album.

In 1995, it was time for a greatest hits package, but Marty's hits proved to be too diverse for a normal collection. Seven hits on The Marty Party Hit Pack came from Marty's previous MCA albums, but to accurately reflect Marty's artistry, MCA had to draw from a Travis Tritt album, the Rhythm, Country and Blues project, The Elvis tribute album and two brand new cuts with producer Don Cook.

The Marty Party is not winding down by any means, according to Marty himself. As he says in the liner notes for the Hit Pack, "Now I'm just looking for a bigger party--preferably Platinum!"

Writer unknown

Return To Articles Return To Home Page