Marty Stuart To Headline Cash Festival

This appeared on - September 6, 2007

Four-time country music Grammy Award winner Marty Stuart will play a free concert in Starkville as the headline act in the upcoming Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival.

“We couldn't think of a better musician ... someone with roots in Mississippi and strong connections to Johnny Cash,” said festival organizer Robbie Ward, standing in front of cellblock E, better known as the “drunk tank” in the old Oktibbeha County Jail, Wednesday afternoon.

Stuart, who grew up not far from Starkville in Philadelphia and toured with Cash, was once married to Cash's daughter Cindy.

Cash, who died in 2002, immortalized the county jail in his 1969 song “Starkville City Jail” which recounts a brief visit he made to Starkville in 1965, when he was arrested for public intoxication after a concert at Mississippi State University.

“This is where it happened. This is where Johnny Cash spent the night in jail,” said Ward.

The Johnny Cash Flower Pickin' Festival, set for November 2-4, 2007 and the only Johnny Cash festival, endorsed by the Cash estate, seeks to recognize the Man in Black for his failures and successes, and call to mind the redemptive power we all possess.

Stuart, 48, who has been called “country music's Renaissance man,” and has collaborated with luminaries like Lester Flatt and Bob Dylan with will be joined by his band, Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives.

“Marty Stuart said he's going to come to Starkville with his Fabulous Superlatives and put the Johnny Cash on them,” remarked Ward.

By Skip Descant

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