Marty Stuart To Headline Concert At Carter Fold

This appeared in the Kingsport Times News - April 24, 2002

Country music star Marty Stuart has spent the past few years helping gain support for and build the new Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

A little cabin that was the boyhood home of a country music icon is next on his agenda.

The Carter Fold will host Stuart and his Tennessee Mafia Jug Band for two performances Friday at 5 and 9 p.m, with a portion of the proceeds going to restore a cabin built in the late 1800s that served as the birthplace for A.P. Carter.

Built by Carter's father, Robert, the cabin lies directly across the knoll from the Mount Vernon Church in the Maces Springs community, just a few miles from the Carter Fold performance stage and Carter Family Museum.

Rita Forrester, A.P.'s great-granddaughter and Carter Fold chief of staff, said Stuart's ties to the cabin come by family ties and his love of country music preservation.

"Marty, who was married to Johnny Cash's daughter Cindy years ago, has always been family, even though the two separated. We took him to the cabin recently when he was doing some of his own research on A.P. for a book he was writing," Forrester said. "When he saw the condition of the cabin and we told him what we wanted to do as far as trying to save it, he was all for helping in any way because he said ‘This is part of our country music heritage, and we can't let it be destroyed.'

"Considering how old it is, we are glad that it is still standing, but we want to move the cabin to the grounds of the Fold so that it becomes another aspect of the history we present to the public there."

Plans to restore the cabin on the site five years ago fell through, but after consulting with several family members, the plan to move the cabin was given full blessing.

Forrester has been working with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources on a restoration plan for the structure, which she said is recognized as a historical monument on a national and state level.

"The cabin will be taken apart piece by piece, with each of the logs, the rocks in the fireplace, everything individually numbered and cataloged so they can be reassembled in their proper position when erected on the museum grounds. It will be a very tedious task and will take thousands of dollars," Forrester said.

Stuart, an 11-time Grammy nominee and three-time winner, and his jug band also have the honor of kicking off a celebration that will recognize the 75th anniversary of the recording of A.P., Sara and Maybelle Carter's music at a recording studio on State Street in Bristol in 1927 for producer Ralph Peer, the genesis of the country music industry in the eyes of several music historians.

Stuart is also one of the few artists who is granted special permission to use electrical instruments at the Carter Fold, where performances are usually conducted acoustically.

Forrester said although Stuart has been "plugged-in in the past," Friday's performances will be "unplugged."

"Marty is a bluegrass musician at heart. He got his start going on the road with Flatt and Scruggs, and bluegrass is what folks are going to hear Friday. Marty does one of the best live shows you'll ever see and hear, and this one is no exception," Forrester said.

Carter Fold officials plan to open the doors at 1 p.m. Friday to allow for those who want to get a good seat for the first performance. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. for the second show.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at the Birthplace of Country Music Association (BCMA) Museum and Gift Shop in the Bristol Mall, Kilgore's Market in Hiltons, and at Enterprise Nursery in Weber City.

Remaining tickets can be purchased at the door, and outside seating may be available, weather permitting.

For more information call the BCMA at (276)645-0035.

By Kevin Castle

Return To Articles Return To Home Page