At Home With Patsy

Marty Stuart Once Played In Berryville

This article is unidentified - May 1991

Country music singer Marty Stuart is no stranger to the Winchester area or the legendary music it has produced. When he was invited to come to the 64th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, "It was no problem. I always loved this part of Virginia."

A native of Philadelphia, Miss., Stuart joined Lester Flatt's band when he came through town in 1974. Stuart was 13 at the time and, when Flatt heard him play the mandolin, he said he wanted him in his band. "We played a lot here, in Berryville," Stuart said, pronouncing the name of the small town east of Winchester as a native would, adding, "I just learned to do that today. I always knew there was more to Winchester than the truck stop on (Interstate) 81. This festival is symbolic of the end of winter and people coming back to life, and I like that. I don't like winter."

Stuart said he was also honored to come to Winchester because it is the home of the late Patsy Cline. "It's been said and said and said, but she really is one of the greatest vocalists and her music is timeless. Her mother still lives here, doesn't she? Isn't her name Hilda? That's my mother's name too. I'd like to invite her out to the Country Music Dance. We'll make her the band mom for the night."

The dance is at 9 tonight at the Shawnee Fire Hall on Roosevelt Boulevard

"I was 5 years old when I heard on the car radio about Patsy's plane crash. I remember sitting in the car and I cried and cried and cried. I loved her music."

Stuart was born in 1958 and said he can't remember a time in his life when he "wasn't into" country music. He played with Flatt until he died in 1979, and then toured with Johnny Cash for six years.

"I thought my childhood was extremely normal," he said jokingly. "All the other kids were going to drive-ins and cruising around. I was playing at the Grand Ole Opry, and playing on radio shows and television shows. I couldn't find a thing wrong with that. I have no regrets. It's a real unique way to start a life. I was raised by the masters of the past who helped invent country music. It's neat to take a piece of the past into the future."

By Terri Higgins

Return To Articles Return To Home Page