By Kris Smith
A return to the Palace Theatre in less than 5 years, Marty Stuart and his Superlatives band is eager to come back to Corsicana. Stuart stated, “I am anxious to get back to the heart and center of Texas.”
Stuart was born in Mississippi in 1958, with country music roots buried deep in his raising by parents John and Hilda Stuart. At the age of nine, he was performing in the Pentecostal church and by twelve he was performing with some of the Country music greats, such as Lester Flatts and ultimately Johnny Cash.
Stuart stated, “I was like a sponge, listening to WHOC, a 1,000-Watt station, when Sundays were full of Sunday Gospel shows.”
He released his first record, With A Little Help From My Friends, and was asked to join Johnny Cash’s backing band in 1980. By 1982, he recorded a more high-profile solo album, Busy Bee Café. Cash was not only his mentor of sorts, but he also became his father-in-law in 1985. Johnny Cash gave him some sage advice during this period – “If it’s not in your heart, don’t do it.” A piece of advice he still carries with him to this day.
During the nineties, Stuart penned great hits, leading up to the ‘No Hats Tour’ with fellow musician and friend Travis Tritt. “That was a ball. We definitely claimed it!” Stuart gained success with hits such as Hillbilly Rock, Tempted, Little Things, Burn Me Down, among many others.
Marty Stuart was able to connect with Corsicana’s favorite son, Billy Joe Shaver in the beginning of his decades long career. “Billy Joe Shaver can only be described as a ‘pure American original.’ The air is very thin up there with guys like him.” Stuart even covered Shaver’s song ‘If I Give My Soul’ on his 1994 album Love & Luck.
The accomplished singer/songwriter, Grand Ole Opry star, photographer, among many other things has been described as an all-over Renaissance man. Stuart has spent his musical career performing, all the while collecting music memorabilia from the last half century. Limited pieces of his collection will be permanently housed at the Ellis Theatre in Philadelphia, Mississippi. Originally built in 1926, the Ellis Theatre will be completely restored to serve as a performance theatre and multi-purpose event space, according to the Congress of County Music website, www.congressofcountrymusic.org.
Stuart’s Congress of Country Music is set to be housed in an over 50,000 square foot separate campus, featuring a museum, classrooms, community hall, meeting, and event spaces, including a rooftop performance space. Pieces registered in the museum will include Patsy Cline’s boots, Hank Williams’ ‘Nudie’ shirt, Porter Wagoner’s suit, and Jimmie Rodgers’ Blue Yodel guitar, among so many other pieces of Country Music history.
Stuart will begin his Texas row at the Waco Hippodrome on Friday, August 12th, the night before an intimate performance at The Palace on Saturday, August 13th. Tickets are on sale now at The Palace Theatre and range from $40- $60 each.