Marty Stuart's Musical Dues Are All Paid Up

This appeared in GO! - May 6, 1994

Things are looking better than ever for country singer Marty Stuart. Today, Stuart is touring with his latest MCA album, "Love and Luck," also the name of his newest single release, and is the official International Ambassador for Country Music, a title that Stuart carries proudly.

"I like to share what I know with people who are interested in listening. It doesn't take much to give back when you're pickin' and talkin' on stage," Stuart said.

The MCA recording artist spent most of his youth learning and performing with some of the greatest legends in country music such as Lester Flatt and his ex-father-in-law, Johnny Cash, and he was only 13 years old when he first played on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

"Yeah, that's a great story. Lester heard me playing and offered me a job. I was in Mississippi and in the ninth grade. You can imagine how I felt. I mean, I think it was a week or two weekends later I found myself playing at the Opry and Roy Acuff and I were playing cards backstage, Stuart recalled. "I've always known country music was in my blood."

In 1982, Stuart produced his first solo album, "Busy Bee Cafe" on an independent label and in 1986 he released his first major label LP, "Marty Stuart, The Album," on CBS. "It was a learning experience for me, not my most successful," he admitted.

Today, Stuart's life is filled with successes, including seven Top 10 singles in the past seven years -- one of the biggest being a duet with Marietta native Travis Tritt on "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'."

Stuart has, over the years, etched his own sound and style, which some critics call rockabilly, but Stuart disagrees. "It's not rockabilly, it's hillbilly and I'm very proud of it," he said.

Stuart joined the Opry Family in November 1992 when he was inducted some 20 years after his first appearance. "Now I'm a member of the dream I always had," Stuart said. "You know there were times I thought I may have been overlooked, well, maybe just not looked at enough. Not so now. I think it's called paying your dues. I think I'm paid up now."

By Victoria Kaufman Forrest

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