Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters Podcast

Marty Stuart

Ep. 127 - Marty Stuart  

"Time Don't Wait" - The Keeper of the Country Flame


Scott and Paul chat about image, country music hair, Elton John’s new autobiography, and two Songcraft contests that give you the chance to win one of two new books by Marty Stuart and Lamont Dozier.

PART TWO - 14:15 mark
Scott sits down for an in-depth conversation with Marty Stuart backstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.

* Click the orange play button below to begin listening. Or click here to download to your device.

Scott sits down with Marty Stuart to find out how he left home at age 13 to hit the road; what he learned from Johnny Cash about the craft of songwriting; how he found the song that launched the best-known country music supergroup of all time; the three people he considers THE standard of country songwriting; the album that cost him a record deal, a band, a manager, and a publicist; why he had to leave “butt wiggling” songs behind; what he loved about the Dixie Chicks; how a photo of Louis Armstrong gave him a sense of mission for his band; why his greatest songwriting motivation is a deadline; the reason he used to send Harlan Howard and Ralph Mooney $100 at the start of every year; and the Patsy Cline artifact he found in a junk shop that launched his interest in collecting country music memorabilia. 

Five-time Grammy winner 
Marty Stuart only had two professional jobs before launching his own artist career: playing in Lester Flatt’s bluegrass group, then spending five years in Johnny Cash’s band. As a solo artist, Stuart has scored seventeen Top 40 county singles, including Top 10 hits such as “Hillbilly Rock," "Little Things,” “Tempted,” “Burn Me Down,” and the Travis Tritt duets “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” and “This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time).” Other Stuart songs that have hit the country chart include John Anderson’s recording of “Takin’ the Country Back,” The Dixie Chicks’ “Tortured, Tangled Heart,” and Clint Black and Martina McBride’s duet recording of “Still Holding On.”

The release of Stuart’s concept album, The Pilgrim, in 1999 marked a turning point and creative renaissance where Marty, in his words, stopped following the charts and begin following his heart. He put together a highly-celebrated band, The Fabulous Superlatives, and has since championed the beauty and integrity of country music as a uniquely American art form. He is a frequent commentator for historically-oriented projects, including Ken Burns’ ambitious sixteen-hour Country Music documentary. His most recent effort is Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music, a Philadelphia, Mississippi-based museum, concert venue, educational and cultural facility that will house his personal collection of over 20,000 country music-related artifacts. 

First and foremost, however, Marty is an artist and songwriter. His consistently well-reviewed albums over the last two decades are packed with original songs that celebrate country music’s roots without ever feeling dated. The Grand Ole Opry member’s songs have also been recorded by artists such as George Strait, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Wynonna Judd, Gary Allan, Billy Bob Thornton, Connie Smith, Charley Pride, Porter Wagoner, Guy Clark, and Johnny Cash.

Songcraft's Marty Stuart
Playlist: Spotify users can select the song you'd like to hear below, or simply start the player and enjoy a selection of Marty's songs. If you don't have a Spotify account, follow the prompts to sign up for free. Click this link to take you directly to the playlist in the Spotify web player.