John Marty Stuart, more known as Marty Stuart, is an American country singer-songwriter best known for his song “This Whiskey Ain’t Workin’,” among other famous songs in the early ’90s. Considered one of America’s most prominent country rock singers, he garnered many titles and awards throughout the years. Here are five facts about the music legend.
1. He started as a sit-in with Lester Flatt’s band
Named after his mother’s favorite country artist, Marty Stuart is a self-taught mandolin and guitar player at the age of 12, performing in a bluegrass group. He was part of a gospel band named The Sullivans, where he met Roland White, a member of The Nashville Grass, a bluegrass band founded by Lester Flatt in 1969.
He later became a sit-in of the said band and became a regular member a year later. He played with the band as a permanent member on various tours across the country from 1972 to 1978, when Flatt retired. Marty Stuart later joined Johnny Cash‘s band later in 1980.
2. His most famous albums are Hillbilly Rock and Tempted
After signing a contract with MCA (Music Corporation of America, Inc.) Records in 1989, he was able to release two high-grossing and widely acclaimed albums Hillbilly Rock (1989) and Tempted (1991), and resulted to four Top 10 hits during their respective release years. This included his cover of Cash’s song “Cry! Cry! Cry!,” “Don’t Leave Her Lonely Too Long,” “Tempted,” and “Burn Me Down.”
3. He has several chart-topping songs and garnered many awards
“The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’,” one of the most famous Marty Stuart songs, is co-written with Travis Tritt. This song ranked second on Hot Country Songs in the early 1992 and gave Marty Stuart his first Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in the same year. The success of the song led to the successful “No Hats” tour. He was later nominated for 16 Grammys and won four more for his other works. Over the years, he recorded at least 20 studio albums, which resulted to more than 30 appearances on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
4. He is the host of The Marty Stuart Show
In his desire to preserve country music history, he hosted his television variety show, The Marty Stuart Show, in 2008, which featured various country artists and songs. Though the show has not recently produced any new episodes, cable’s RFD-TV has been airing previous episodes recently.
5. He is married to Connie Smith
Stuart was first married to Johnny Cash’s daughter, Cindy Cash, from 1983 to 1988. In 1997, he married famous country artist Connie Smith. His words regarding his wife are, “But, on the way home that night, I declared that I was going to marry Connie Smith one day. And twenty-five years later, I did.”
More than his songs and his awards, Marty Stuart’s legacy is his love for country music and his love for the craft, as evidenced by his being president of the Country Music Foundation. Because of his efforts, the art of country music lives on and shines through even in the present generation.