Marty Stuart Brings "Hillbilly Rock" to Marion Popcorn Festival

This appeared on - June 18, 2002

Festival President Pat Regules has announced that country music artist and historian Marty Stuart will present his unique blend of rockability to Marion on Saturday, September 7. He'll take the main stage of the Marion Popcorn Festival at 8:30 p.m.

At 43, Stuart has had a long and distinguished career and is known worldwide as an exceptional musician and performer for his string of hits that include "Hillbilly Rock", "Little Things", "Till I Found You", "Tempted", and "Burn Me Down". Stuart is also acclaimed for numerous collaborative successes, including "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" and "This One's Gonna Hurt You" with Travis Tritt.

The road to four gold albums, three Grammy awards and eleven Grammy nominations, seven CMA nominations with one award, five ACM nominations, five certificates from BMI's Million-Air club for one million air-plays, and five BMI songwriting awards began early for Stuart.

Born in Philadelphia, Mississippi in 1958, Stuart learned the mandolin as a young child and played with the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers. His exceptional abilities on that instrument landed him the coveted position at the age of 13 of being part of Lester Flatt's band after the legendary Flatt & Scruggs duo broke up.

When Flatt died in 1979, Stuart worked with fiddler Vassar Clements and acoustic guitar great Doc Watson before beginning a six-year stint as guitarist with another country legend, Johnny Cash. By the time Stuart first hit the top 20 with his own recording, 1985's "Arlene", at 27 he was already a music industry veteran of 14 years.

Stuart can claim a number of titles in addition to singer and musician. He has penned songs recorded by artists from George Strait, Wade Hayes and Buck Owens to Travis Tritt and Wynonna. Stuart also produces records, including three for Jerry and Tammy Sullivan whose second Stuart-produced album, "At The Feet of God", earned a Grammy nomination.

His photography hobby has resulted in a book titled Pilgrims: Sinners, Saints and Prophets, as well as photo exhibits in Nashville and New Orleans galleries. Stuart's work has also been published in People, Country Music, and Southern Living magazines.

President is another designation Stuart can claim as he was elected to his fourth term in that position by the Country Music Foundation in 2000. And when the doors of the Country Music Foundation's Hall of Fame opened in the spring of 2001, an entire revolving and evolving exhibit was devoted to country music historian Stuart's vast personal collection of memorabilia gathered from years of working with the legends of country music.

Stuart is also a poet, theatrical composer, author, actor, Nashville's International Ambassador of Tourism, TV host, commercial pitchman, and comic book hero ("The Marty Party In Space").

"Here's an entertainer who brings to the stage his rich history," said Regules. "You'll hear straight-up country, bluegrass, some rock...hillbilly rock. I'm told by those who've seen him he puts on an incredible show. It'll be a great close to a great Festival."

The Marion Popcorn Festival is the largest popcorn festival in the world with annual attendance estimated in excess of 250,000 over the three-day festival. Already announced is 38 Special on Friday, September 6. Other events include The Marion Popcorn Festival Scholarship Program, Miss Teeny Pop, Wee Little Pop, the Golden Valley Microwave Popcorn parade with over 300 units, a fine art show, crafts, Popcorn 5000 5K run, Popcorn 100 bike tour, a community showcase stage, and more. All performances are free of charge. For more information, visit our web site at or call 740/387-FEST.

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