Marty Stuart Shares Country History

This appeared on - June 7, 2007

Tuesday night's preview party of "Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey" at the Tennessee State Museum spotlighted Marty's spectacular collection of country music artifacts, including his sixth-grade essay proclaiming his country music ambitions.

Several of those who helped his dream come true were on hand, The Tennessean reports. Members of his family mingled in a crowd that included Sonny James, Manuel, Dierks Bentley, Barbara Fairchild and several members of Diamond Rio. As Marty showed Gladys Flatt, 91, the items that once belonged to her late husband, Lester, she told him, "I miss him, and I know you do. My Lord, I miss him."

Marty's wife, Connie Smith, was moved to tears by the display featuring the suit he wore when the young teen arrived in Nashville. "The one that got me more than anything was when I walked around the corner and saw that suit and how little he was to be put in the middle of all of this," she said. When Marty saw the display, he hugged the dressed mannequin and said, "Boy, you did all right."

About the exhibit, Marty said, "I wish you could do life like this and edit out the bad stuff and just hit the high stuff. I've never seen this comprehensively stretched out, and it's an awesome exhibit. It's been an awesome life."

Kathy Mattea said, "This is a man who saves everything, and it's our good fortune that he has. It makes me think how many things have I forgotten to save along the way. What a rich history, and how nice to see how much he appreciates his own history. It's like he knew when he was doing it what a special life it was."

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