Country Stars Marty Stuart, Connie Smith Performing At The Mary C. In Ocean Springs

This appeared on - November 13, 2102

Country music stars Marty Stuart and Connie Smith will be performing at the Mary C. Cultural Arts Center in Ocean Springs Wednesday night.

In conjunction with the performance, there will be a book signing by Stuart's mother, Hilda Stuart, who recently published a book about their home state of Mississippi, entitled Choctaw Gardens.

Marty Stuart, a native of Philadelphia, Mississippi, is a four-time Grammy winner and member of the Grand Ole Opry who has been peforming for four decades. He began his career in bluegrass at the age of 13 and later performed on the legendary Class of 55 album with Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis.

He recorded his first top 10 hit in 1990 with the release of "Hillbilly Rock," and secured a top 20 hit with "Western Girls." A year later, he co-wrote "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" with Travis Tritt, which they recorded as a duet and it became Stuart's biggest hit.

Stuart has recorded 20 albums, the latest Ghost Train, released in 2010.

Connie Smith is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and is widely considered one of the great female vocalists in country music history.

No less an expert than Dolly Parton once said there were only three real female singers -- Barbara Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, and Smith. "The rest of us are just pretending," Parton said.

It is a Nashville legend that Smith's first record, "Once a Day," written by Bill Anderson and recorded on July 16, 1964 when she was just 23, became one of the most celebrated singles in country music history--the first debut single by a female country singer to go to number one, a position it held for eight weeks.

Forty-seven years later it is still the only first single ever to have done that.

"Once A Day," along with "How Great Thou Art," are still the songs most requested from Smith's fans.

By Warren Kulo

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