Road Marker Dedication Part Of Marty Stuart Day

This appeared in The Neshoba Democrat - June 17, 2009

Marty Stuart Day is July 9 in Philadelphia and the country music singer/songwriter will be here for a full day of activities, including the dedication of a museum exhibit and a road marker before a performance at the Choctaw Indian Fair.

His wife, the legendary country music singer Connie Smith, will be here and perform at the Choctaw Indian Fair as well.

The road marker will designate Marty Stuart Drive off Mississippi 19 north near land Stuart owns in the Arlington community.

The marker was designed by Philadelphia artist Kyle Stribling.

The dedication is at 10 a.m., and open to the public.

Stribling described the marker as a "cohesion of local materials and symbolism that represents Stuart's journey from Neshoba County to the successes of Nashville and defines his musical and personal roots."

Stuart will be at the Philadelphia-Neshoba County Historical Museum at noon to unveil an exhibit dedicated to him which includes memorabilia from his life as a child growing up in Philadelphia.

The exhibit, entitled Mississippi Boy. Marty Stuart. The Neshoba County Years, includes numerous items, from his leather baby boot and childhood Bible, to a guitar, pitch pipe and pair of black cowboy boots.

The exhibit, which has its own room in the museum, will feature audio and video of Stuart describing his early days in Neshoba County.

"To me, the story is the boy had everything he had from family and friends and hometown before he ever left the city limits to go out into the world," Stuart told members of the Museum Council earlier this year.

Stuart will be present at the museum for the unveiling of the exhibit and will stay to "visit with folks" for about an hour and a half, said Alice Rowe of the Museum Council.

"This room is quite an undertaking for the city of Philadelphia and we are very excited about it finally being here," she said.

Due to limited parking at the museum, transportation from the historic train depot and the nearby Depot Marketplace will be available, Neshoba County Tourism Director Kaye Rowell said.

After the museum exhibit dedication, Stuart and Smith will make their way to the Choctaw Indian Fair where she is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. and he at 8:30 p.m.

Stuart is known for his blending of rockabilly, honky tonk, and traditional country music styles.

The Philadelphia native had a successful string of country hits in the early 1990s.

A self taught mandolin and guitar player, Stuart left his home in Philadelphia in 1972 to join Roland White and Lester Flatt in a group called the Nashville Grass. He played in the group for several years, and released his debut album entitled "With a Little Help From My Friends" in 1979.

In 1982 Stuart released a second album titled Busy Bee Café, named after a cafe in Philadelphia where he used to perform as a child.

Stuart found top 20 success with songs such as "Arlene" which he released in 1985, and the song "Hillbilly Rock" was his first top 10 hit. In 1991, the song "Tempted" became Marty's first Top Five hit.

He married Connie Smith in 1997, and now lives in Nashville.

By T. J. Jernigan

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