Nashville Music Awards - No Artistic Boundaries

This appeared in The Tennessean - January 19, 1995

In accepting Johnny Cash's award in the folk album category for American Recordings, Marty Stuart said Cash is a prime example of one who has transcended all artistic boundaries. Stuart hopes the attention Cash received for American Recordings changes Nashville's view of how it deals with older artists.

"Branson is not for everybody," he said. "Johnny Cash tried Branson, Merle Haggard tried Branson, Willie (Nelson) tried Branson. Those guys didn't fare so well there. There's so much integrity left in the likes of those guys--Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. These are the guys who helped invent the sound that we're working off of now."

Stuart echoed Trisha Yearwood's wish for the future of the NAMMIES. "I hope this doesn't turn into a more mainstream kind of awards show," he said. "I hope that some of the people who would never have a chance in mainstream country music music or pop music can get their start and get some recognition out of here. I hope the likes of Jonell Mosser and Webb Wilder can find a lot of success."

Marty Stuart spoke on Cash's behalf. "The thing we love about him so much," Stuart said of his former father-in-law, "is the fact that he transcends boundaries; he transcends trends. He goes beyond all that. The only thing that bothers me is this last time he had to go to Los Angeles to make his record with Rick Rubin instead of making it in Nashville because we kind of overlooked him."

Stuart and state Sen. Thelma Harper underlined the visual impact of their paring as presenters (Stuart in big hair and hillbilly finery, Harper resplendent in a high-reaching hat and sparkling red jacket) with witty banter, beginning with Harper's humorously mistaken assertion that "bluegrass was the music of my childhood." The pair presented Alison Krauss (called "Alison Cruise" by Harper) with a NAMMIE for outstanding bluegrass album.

Backstage Banter

Marty Stuart, singer/songwriter - "I thought it (Johnny Cash's American Recordings) was terribly honest. It seems what was on his mind was back to the basics."

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