Music Was Fresh, Innovative

This appeared on Globe Online - 1999

One can only go so far in trying to explain why Buddy Holly's music is so special, said Marty Stuart.

"It was a golden time for music and he brought a whole mess of things to the table. It was innovative, fun, fresh new music."

Songs like "True Love Ways" are going to be around forever. Buddy was a true star like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.

"But to try and put a finger on exactly why his music is so special can't be done. At that point, you're messing with magic," Stuart said.

Stuart has co-written a number of songs he has performed with someone he calls "a Buddy Holly freak," Paul Kennerley, a native of England.

Kennerley was married to EmmyLou Harris, who once bought him one of Buddy Holly's old amplifiers that Stuart believes is now on loan to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

"Paul Kennerley was the one that turned me on to Buddy's music," Stuart said.

Stuart was once a member of Johnny Cash's band and worked on the "Class of '55" project that included Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison.

At that same time, Kennerley had started the song "Tempted," which eventually went on to become one of Stuart's biggest hits.

"I came up with a chorus for that song which has kind of a Roy Orbi son-Buddy Holly feel to it," Stuart said. One of the roadblocks Stuart faced when he started as a solo artist was getting his records played Texas.

"I wasn't one of the traditional country artists that wears a cowboy hat, " Stuart said.

On the way to a performance in Buddy's hometown of Lubbock, Stuart heard "Tempted" being played on the radio, the first time he'd heard the song being played and the first time he heard his music in Texas.

The next day, a review of his Lubbock performance noted that Stuart had showcased the song "Tempted" and that "Buddy would be proud."

"I read that and remember thinking, 'I like this town. Thank you, Buddy," Stuart said.

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