Marty Stuart Returns To His Hometown Today To Dedicate Country Music Trail Marker

This appeared in The Neshoba Democrat - September 30, 2010

Country music star Marty Stuart is coming home to Philadelphia for his birthday today to help dedicate his Mississippi Country Music Trail marker downtown.

The dedication is free to the public. A "Marty Party" will follow in the Arts Council Theatre. Tickets are $10 and available until 5 p.m. today at the Community Development Partnership office.

The formal dedication at the corner of Main Street and Byrd Avenue near the Jordan and White law office, the block where Stuart bought his first guitar, will be followed by a "Marty Party" in the Arts Council Theatre across the street.

Byrd Avenue will be closed from Main Street to Range Avenue for the festivities.

Stuart requested that the marker be unveiled during the Fair and eventually placed on the block where he bought his first guitar at Turner Hardware on Main Street. His mother worked at the old Bank of Philadelphia, which was located on that corner where the law office is now. He also got his hair cut at the nearby barbershop.

Stuart will be joined by family and friends as well as local and state officials at the dedication which begins at 6 p.m. and features traditional Choctaw dancers performing in front of the theatre.

Afterwards, Stuart will be honored with a "Marty Party" featuring songs by local artists and other guests inside the theatre.

As a special treat, he and former childhood band members Butch and Rickey Hodgins will perform one song together.

The Hodgins brothers were members of Stuart's first band while growing up in Philadelphia.

All proceed from tickets sales will go towards the Arts Council's renovation project.

At least 30 other Country Music Trail markers will be situated around the state and will feature a variety of other artists, including Charley Pride, Conway Twitty, Jerry Clower, Faith Hill and Paul Overstreet, among others.

Stuart's marker will be the second on the trail as one in honor of Jimmie Rodgers was placed in Meridian earlier this year.

Stuart's marker was unveiled this summer at the Neshoba County Fair.

He told the crowd gathered at the grandstand that Neshoba County has had a big influence on him and his career.

He recalled playing at the grandstand as a youngster with the "Musical Rangers."

"We had one of those clip on magnet signs to go on the car to make us look important," Stuart said.

Born in Philadelphia on September 30, 1958, Stuart is the son of John and Hilda Stuart.

By Steven Thomas

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