NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Grammy® Award-winning multi-talented Marty Stuart will celebrate his 25th Anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member with appearances on two Opry shows Friday, December 1 at the Ryman Auditorium. Stuart was inducted in the Opry family on Nov. 28, 1992, some 20 years after he first played the Opry at 13 years old as a band member for legendary Country Music Hall of Famer and Opry member Lester Flatt.
Stuart is widely regarded as one of country music’s biggest champions worldwide.
“The Opry is a way of life,” Marty Stuart has said. “It’s an institution that gets passed on every weekend. If you’re going to be a country performer, the Opry is the place to be.”
The five-time Grammy winner continues to record and release keenly relevant music, records that honor country’s rich legacy while advancing it into the future. Earlier this year he released his 18th studio album, Way Out West. It was named one of the “Best Americana Albums of 2017” and NPR Music proclaims “is Marty Stuart’s album-length paean to the myth and magic of the American West.”
Among those scheduled to be on hand to celebrate with Stuart are his wife, Opry member Connie Smith, Old Crow Medicine Show (who Stuart invited to become Opry members in 2013), Charlie Worsham, and Stuart’s band, The Fabulous Superlatives.
Among others coming soon to the Opry are Dailey & Vincent, Radney Foster, Gaither Vocal Band, Drew and Ellie Holcomb, Alison Krauss, LoCash, Martina McBride, Carly Pearce, and Chris Young.
Over the years, Marty Stuart’s love of country music has found multiple avenues for expression. In addition to writing and recording such hits as “Hillbilly Rock,” “Tempted” and “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin,” the latter a Grammy-winning duet with pal Travis Tritt, Marty has become one of country music’s noted historians. Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey, his traveling exhibit of music memorabilia and photography, was displayed at the Tennessee State Museum in 2007 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2008, Marty launched The Marty Stuart Show on cable’s RFD Network. Each program features Marty’s band, The Fabulous Superlatives, as well as fellow Grand Ole Opry members and other guests.
A member of the Opry since 1992, Marty frequently occupies the Grand Ole Opry House Wagonmaster dressing room that previously belonged to three of his heroes.
“It’s a special room. This room was originally occupied by Ernest Tubb and the Texas Troubadours, then Marty Robbins and then Porter Wagoner had it,” he says. “They’ve given this room to me and the Superlatives now.”
Marty’s passion for country music began when he taught himself to play mandolin as a child. By the time he was 13, he had been recruited to join the legendary Lester Flatt’s band. Marty has performed with some of country music’s most notable musicians, including fiddler Vassar Clements and guitarist Doc Watson. He also spent several years in Johnny Cash’s band before pursuing a solo career.
A mid-’80s deal with Columbia Records served up the Top 20 hit “Arlene,” but a move to MCA Records proved more fruitful. In 1990, he hit the Top 10 for the first time with the title track of his album Hillbilly Rock. In 1991, he released Tempted and the title track became a Top 5 single. In the early ’90s, he also teamed with Tritt for such hits as “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” and “This One’s Gonna Hurt You.”
As a producer, Marty worked with his wife, Connie Smith, on her self-titled Warner Brothers album in 1998. He also produced the late Porter Wagoner’s 2007 album, Wagonmaster. In 2005, Marty launched his own Superlatone Records and began issuing a series of acclaimed albums, including a celebration of Delta gospel on 2005’s Souls’ Chapel, the Native American-influenced Badlands: Ballads of the Lakota, a rekindling of his bluegrass roots on 2006’s Live at the Ryman, and 2007’s Compadres: An Anthology of Duets.
In 2010, he issued Ghost Train, which was recorded in RCA’s famed Studio B, where Marty played on his first session with Flatt when he was 13.
“It’s not about the past. It really isn’t,” Marty says of the traditional record. “It’s about writing a brand new chapter for this millennium for traditional country music that’s authentic.”
In 2017, Marty released his 18th studio album, Way Out West. The album was produced by Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and featuring the Fabulous Superlatives —guitarist Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson and new member, bassist Chris Scruggs– Marty’s longtime band, which NPR Music said could “melt your heart with four-part harmonies, rock your bones with honky tonk, and dazzle you with picking worthy of their name,” Way Out West is a cinematic tour-de-force.
Though he’s seen many changes in the country music industry over the years, Marty says the Opry has remained constant. “The thing that has absolutely not changed is the Grand Ole Opry,” he says. “The Mother Church of Country Music has remained and it all revolves around it.”
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday night shows through December 12. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.