Marty Stuart Performing At Mississippi Music Celebration

Country star and native helps celebrate Mississippi's contributions to American popular music

This appeared in The Hard Music Magazine - February 8, 2012

Missippi’s musical artists are at the center of American popular music and that legacy is apparent in the number of Mississippians who have been recognized by The Recording Academy® with GRAMMY Awards®, GRAMMY Hall Of Fame® inductions and Lifetime Achievement Awards. On Thursday, February 9, this year’s “Mississippi Music Celebration at the GRAMMY Museum” at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles will celebrate that unparalleled musical legacy and specifically honor Mississippi’s pivotal role in the development of American popular music. The event is part of GRAMMY® Week, a preamble to the GRAMMY Awards ceremony scheduled on Sunday, February 12.

On February 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Museum’s Clive Davis Theater, Mississippi’s Music Celebration features a performance by Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives. Previous Mississippi Music Celebrations at the GRAMMY Museum have included performances by Lifetime Achievement Award-winner David “Honeyboy” Edwards, blues guitar legend Hubert Sumlin, The Williams Brothers, Dorothy Moore, Shannon McNally, Jimbo Mathus, Eddie Cotton and the Homemade Jamz Blues Band.

“Mississippians take pride in our reputation as the true ‘Birthplace of America’s Music,’” stated Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. “Deborah and I are delighted to host and showcase the legacy and legend of Mississippi’s musical heritage.”

Recognizing the achievements of artists from around the world, the annual GRAMMY Awards celebrate the wealth of American popular music, whose development is hard to imagine without the contributions of Mississippi artists. In positioning itself as the “Birthplace of America’s Music,” Mississippi draws on the legacy of music pioneers such as Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Hank Jones, B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Leontyne Price, Charley Pride, Pops Staples and Muddy Waters. The state can also look to modern day music makers like Brandy, Faith Hill, North Mississippi Allstars, The Band Perry, Paul Overstreet, LeAnn Rimes, Williams Brothers, Hayley Williams (Paramore) and Cassandra Wilson.

Mississippi has embraced its status as the “Birthplace of America’s Music” through initiatives like the B.B. King Museum and the Delta Interpretive Center, Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo and the Mississippi Blues and Country Music trails statewide. The Mississippi Blues Trail is a top tourist attraction that brings visitors to 150 sites statewide. The Blues Trail even reaches outside of Mississippi, from Portland, Maine; to St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans, and to Chick Hearn Plaza in Los Angeles. The trail recognizes the birthplaces of Blues legends, such as Muddy Waters and B.B. King, and historic juke joints and recording studios. The newer Country Music Trail honors the state’s country greats, including Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette, Faith Hill and Jimmie Rodgers.

In April 2010, the State of Mississippi and the GRAMMY Museum announced the first ever satellite GRAMMY Museum to be built on the campus of Delta State University in Cleveland, Miss. This announcement further solidifies Mississippi’s position as the “Birthplace of America’s Music,” but also builds on a strong relationship between the state and The Recording Academy, which has produced the annual Mississippi GRAMMY Legacy Celebration in venues across Mississippi over the last five years.

“Mississippi music is more than just a historical fact,” said Jon Hornyak, senior executive director of The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter. “The state is giving birth to more American Music every day in a renaissance that spans genres and geography, from Biloxi to Clarksdale to the North Mississippi hill country. The Mississippi Music Celebration at the GRAMMY Museum continues to demonstrate the wealth of talent from the state. This year’s performance will undoubtedly follow that pattern as Marty Stuart and his band show the audience that Mississippi talent is as good as it gets.”

For more information about Mississippi music trails and museums, visit the official Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism website,

About the Performers

Marty Stuart was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi. It’s been said that Stuart is the “lynchpin”: the unbreakable connection between blues and rock and bluegrass and country and gospel, between music and history, between music’s heart and soul and mind, between its past and present and future.

Since starting out singing gospel as a child, the bluegrass stint with Lester Flatt in the 70s, the six years with Johnny Cash in the 80s, and coming up with his smash “hillbilly rock” hits of the 90s, the four-time GRAMMY winner, platinum recording artist, Grand Ole Opry star, country music memorabilia preservationist, stylist, designer, photographer, songwriter, all-around renaissance man, charismatic force of nature and (perhaps, first of all) leader of the extraordinary, versatile touring and recording band, The Fabulous Superlatives, Stuart has shown a showman’s zest for every conceivable flavor of country music. Not to mention, a missionary’s zeal for bringing the importance of the music and its themes home to long-time fans and newcomers alike.

Musicologist Peter North cites, “Marty Stuart seems wrapped in his destiny at this point in time. Not only is Stuart known as country music’s most notable ambassador/caretaker, but as its main archetypical crusader. He has without question evolved into one of the most important roots musicians and visionaries in America.”

“I’m always on the prowl for the kinds of recordings that inspire and make a difference,” Stuart says. “What stirs me now is traditional country music. It’s the music I most cherish, the culture in which I was raised. It’s the bedrock upon which country music is built, the empowering force that provides this genre with lasting credibility. It’s beyond trends and it’s timeless. It’s too precious to let slip away.”

By Doug Van Pelt

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