The Marty Stuart Show

Episode 52 airing August 21, 2010

Guests: Connie Smith and The Fabulous Superlatives, featuring songs from Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)

This show featured the making of Marty's latest album, Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). The songs performed on this show were taken from the performances on previous shows. Eddie Stubbs and Marty talked about the album in between the songs. This is how it went ....

Eddie Stubbs: "In the summer of 2009, the roots of country music came alive on Music Row in Nashville at the legendary RCA Studio B. Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, along with Connie Smith and some of country music's most distinguished musicians, gathered to record Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)."

Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives were shown performing "Hummingbird."

Marty: "Now there's a sayin' in Nashville that says 'It all begins with a song'. And there's another quote by the legendary songwriter Harlan Howard. He said, 'Country music is simply three chords and the truth'. And it was one truthful song entitled 'Hangman,' which is the story that Johnny Cash and I wrote four days before he passed away that started the long journey to the microphone for my album Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). RCA's legendary Studio B is called the Home of a Thousand Hits. It's one of the most important recording studios in the world. It was closed for many years. But now it's offered as a tourist destination by the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Country Music Hall of Fame gave me permission to take The Fabulous Superlatives and some of country music's most legendary musicians back inside the very place where so much of country music's musical legacy was created in hopes that we could do our part to help invigorate traditional country music and develop a new offering to Studio B's story. Join me now if you will for the making of Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). And then the results of those works right here on The Marty Stuart Show. Here's one of my all-time favorites that starts like this ...."

Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives performed "Branded," the song that kicks off the album.

Marty: "Probably the most influential country musician that I've ever known is Ralph Mooney. Moon helped write 'Crazy Arms.' He's a steel guitar hero and a legend to us all. He played on most of Buck Owens' greatest recordings, and I think Merle Haggard would be the first to tell you that Ralph Mooney was instrumental in helping Hag develop his sound. Moon went on to work with Waylon Jennings during all of his glory years and helped Waylon define his musical legacy. Now I went to Texas to visit with Moon at his home when I was developing Ghost Train. We played music most of the afternoon in his garage, and he agreed to come to Nashville to record with me. Country music royalty hit town when Ralph Mooney showed up. Waylon used to introduce him in concert by sayin', 'Ralph Mooney is the most imitated steel guitar player in the world'. And ole Waylon's words rang true when he performed the song that I wrote for the Ghost Train Sessions called 'Drifting Apart'. When it aired on our TV show, ole Moon was back in Texas but Gary Carter did him proud. See what you think. Here's 'Drifting Apart'."

Eddie said, "Wonderful performance there from Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives and 'Drifting Apart'. Marty wrote that song and that whole performance has so much heart in it right there with Marty's great singing and that fantastic steel guitar work with Gary Carter. That right there is why so many people enjoy good, traditional country music. That's what you'll find in this album. Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). We'll be back with more of this special edition of The Marty Stuart Show spotlighting music from this CD and also the stories behind them after these good words."

After a commercial break, Marty and Connie were on the stage. Marty said, Constance, the first recording session that I ever got to play on in Nashville was at Studio B. Think I was 13 years old. I was with Lester Flatt's band and Lester was on RCA at the time and that's just the studio we used. And even as young as I was, I sensed the importance of the place. It really was like a cathedral of sorts. A musical cathedral. It's one thing to play on a session but, in your case, it's another thing to walk through the doors for the first time and record a landmark hit. 'Once A Day,' right?"

Connie: "Yeah, it's something I can't forget. It was July the 16th, 1964. I walked into that studio with Bob Ferguson at the helm and the Anita Kerr singers back in the corner and all those A players at RCA. And that studio, it really was magical. I worked there most of my nine years on RCA Victor. And I loved it."

Marty: "Well, you can't go to a studio without a song and I love writing songs with you. And there's a song on the Ghost Train Sessions called 'I Run To You'. I love that song 'I Run To You'."

Connie: "I do, too."

Marty: "And it was an honor to go to Studio B with you and record it."

Connie: "Yeah, I love it, too. I can't think too much when we're singin' that one."

Marty and Connie perform "I Run To You."

Marty: "There's one particular song that I wrote for the Ghost Train Sessions that comes from a deep place. It concerned my daddy. Before he retired, my daddy was a factory worker. He worked for the same company for 21-1/2 years. One afternoon, he was called to the front office and fired for no reason other than the company wanted to get out of payin' him his benefits upon his retirement which was gettin' close. That incident was a major blow in his life. That was years ago and I thought I was past hurtin' for him concerning that. But when I wrote a song called 'Hard Working Man,' I knew it was for daddy. Not only him for for everyone that was ever affected by losing their job at the cost of corporate greed. The first person I ever sang this song for was Merle Haggard. And showin' Merle a new song is like showin' Mt. Rushmore your rock collection. But Hag is one of my best friends and I knew he'd shoot it straight with me as to whether I had a good song or not. He liked it and gave me his blessing. After all, he is the poet of the common man."

Marty performed "Hard Working Man."

Eddie: "Such a great song right there from Marty Stuart and The Fabulous Superlatives, 'Hard Working Man'. Marty wrote that song right there and I love the line in there about the people who work 40 hours a week, week after week, and they're pushed aside and let go. So many people can relate to a song like that. That's what traditional country music is all about. That's what this CD is all about. Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). We'll be back with more of this special edition of The Marty Stuart Show spotlighting this great collection and the stories behind the songs right after this."

After a commercial break, Marty said, "The Marty Stuart Show, which airs on RFD-TV is in reality inspired by those old television shows that I grew up watchin' on Saturday afternoons in Mississippi. The Porter Wagoner Show, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, The Wilburn Brothers, that good ole Nashville music, and later The Johnny Cash Show were all a big part of my life growin' up. And those folks on those shows, well they felt like family to me long before I ever met 'em. Porter went on be my friend. I went to see Porter at his home. And 15 minutes after I was there, I knew I wanted to produce one more great recording on him. He had the songs, but nobody in Nashville was interested. I found him a record deal in Los Angeles, an alternative record label where his labelmates ranged from soul stars to punk rockers. The Superlatives and I, along with Buck Trent, gathered around Porter and made a record called Wagonmaster. It served as his final masterpiece. Just weeks after that, he was gone. But he left this world on top. I got to make a recording with him that got me ready for Ghost Train and a television show that represents a way of life and the music that I believe in. And I'm very proud of it."

Marty performed "Porter Wagoner's Grave."

Eddie: "What a wonderful experience this edition of The Marty Stuart Show has been. We still got time for one more, though. Let's let the fellas get back and do what they do so well here as we spotlight music from Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)."

Marty and The Fabulous Superlatives performed "Ghost Train Four-O-Ten."

Marty: "Well, here's what I know. Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions) is a dream record for me. And getting to stage real country music on RFD-TV along side of Connie Smith, The Fabulous Superlatives, Leroy Troy, Gary Carter, and Eddie Stubbs is a dream come true. It's a time in my life when I get to honor the senior chiefs and queens of country music. And The Superlatives and I are gettin' to head the charge of carryin' on the traditions of our culture with new songs and stories as well as keepin' the classics alive. But the most rewarding part to me is to watch traditional country music find its way into the hearts of a new generation of kids. It's a wonderful feeling to know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm at the right place at the right time, doing what's divinely ordered for my life. That's peace."

Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives closed out the show with "Country Boy Rock and Roll."

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