Marty Stuart Throws 50th Birthday Bash At The Grand Ole Opry

This appeared on - September 19, 2008

Country music icon Marty Stuart will celebrate his 50th birthday with an hour-long bash airing nationally on GAC's OPRY LIVE on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 8:00 p.m. CT. Friends joining Stuart to honor the milestone year include fellow guitar slinger Keith Urban, Stuart's wife and "country queen" Connie Smith, the much buzzed-about N.C. string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, and as always, his Fabulous Superlatives with other surprise guests.

Stuart has been playing music professionally for an astonishing 38 of his 50 years, starting at age 13 on tour with legendary bluegrass duo Flatt and Scruggs. He joins pop and rock icons including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince in turning 50 this year.

"I love that old gospel song that says, 'when you're trying to make a hundred, ninety nine and a half won't do,'" said Stuart. "In the light of that, fifty means that I'm just getting warmed up. I've heard that saying, 'fabulous at 50' and I'm going to try to live up to that."

Stuart will also mark his recommitment to the Opry by revitalizing dressing room No. 14. Previously belonging to Opry legend Porter Wagoner, the backstage haven will be transformed into Stuart's home away from home, and will also serve as a tribute to the life of his longtime friend. Stuart sketched the designs himself, handpicking furniture, fabric and memorabilia, including a selection of photographs from renowned photographer Les Leverett to adorn the walls and fully rhinestoned tapestries by Nudie and Manuel protégé, Jaime Custom Tailor of North Hollywood, California.

The four-time GRAMMY winner will premiere his new television series The Marty Stuart Show this November starting with the first 26 episodes airing Sunday nights on RFD-TV. Stuart will also release his second photography book Country Music: The Masters on November 11.

As an avid collector and historian of country music, Stuart 's other ventures include the largest private music memorabilia collection in the country Sparkle and Twang: Marty Stuart's American Odyssey, which will take up residency at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on October 30.

By Mary Hilliard Harrington

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