Marty: Country Radio "Heartbreaking"

This appeared in The Tennessean - March 17, 2001

Music Row is in an uproar over a front-page story yesterday in which label chiefs said country music today is boring.

In fact, Mercury chief Luke Lewis was quoted in the story as saying, "If you were to poll label heads on Music Row, the ones who didn't lie to you would tell you they don't listen to country radio."

I was talking yesterday to Marty Stuart, who is president of the Country Music Hall of Fame's board of trustees, and he gave a big fat "amen" to that, saying today's music is overproduced and without soul.

"We have learned how to perfectly craft country music sound and product," he said. "The heart and soul, we're a thousand miles away from it. How 'bout a little authenticity in the mix, ladies and gentlemen."

Does Marty listen to country radio?

"I can take it in 15-minute doses and then I get heartbroken. I know how great country music is."

Not that Marty's totally despondent -- Loretta Lynn's A&E live request show Thursday cheered him up.

"Over 1 million had called to request Loretta Lynn songs. That tells me the honest-to-goodness country music listening audience is alive and well."

By Brad Schmitt

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