Marty Stuart receives country music honor
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Marty Stuart receives country music honor

Saturday, October 6, 2007 – Marty Stuart received an award from the Country Music Association Wednesday for his work in preserving country music.

Stuart, a serious collector of country music along with being a musician, received the Joe Talbot Award Wednesday at the Tennessee State Museum, where his collection "Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart's American Musical Odyssey" is on exhibit through Nov. 11.

"Without Marty's tireless dedication to preserving the history and traditions of our legendary performers, I'm afraid that much of what he has collected over the years would be lost," said CMA Chief Operating Officer Tammy Genovese. "We are all benefiting from his wisdom and his ability to see the inspiration and love sewn into every rhinestone and autograph scribbled across each piece of paper."

"Thanks you so much. I get to take Joe Talbot home with me," joked Stuart. "It goes without saying that I loved Joe Talbot. I was on a couple of different boards with him, and the thing I loved about him was that he was a warrior. He was passionate about traditional country music and the values of the industry. He stood on his convictions, and that's one of the things that always made country music great. It was built on people's convictions.

"You all know how much I love country music," Stuart continued. "I stepped off the bus (in Nashville) when I was 13 years old for a weekend and never went home. I dedicated my life to it. I love this music. We are a family."

The Joe Talbot Award is voted on by the CMA Board of Directors and awarded to a person (living or deceased) in recognition of outstanding leadership and contributions to the preservation and advancement of country music's values and traditions. The award was created in 2001 and bestowed posthumously on its namesake, Joe Talbot, a lifetime member of the CMA Board of Directors who passed away in 2000.

"In our opinion Marty embodies everything this award recognizes - respect for the tradition of country music, an active involvement in furthering the tradition of Country Music, and a general attitude of stewardship for the music," said Talbot's daughter, Jana Talbot. "And, as a totally personal aside, our dad was a great fan and admirer of Marty, and I know he would be pleased to see him receive this award."

The exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum represents more than 40 years of musical milestones in Country, bluegrass, rock and Southern gospel music. It includes treasures from Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Elvis and Hank Williams.

Stuart's passion for collecting took off while he was on tour in the early 1980s with Johnny Cash in London, when a chance encounter with Hard Rock Cafe founder Isaac Tigrett and a subsequent tour of the new venture sparked his imagination.

"So I came home and started finding treasures in thrift shops and yard sales - things that were out of style, costumes that I knew meant a lot to American culture," said Stuart. "And now, we're finally getting the culture of country music weighed in as a great art form among the arts of America. I'm very dedicated to that."

Stuart is also highly regarded for his photography, which has been exhibited and preserved in his books "Pilgrims: Sinners, Saints, and Prophets," which was released in 1999, and "County Music: The Masters," a 300 page photography book released this year.

Previous recipients include Joe Talbot (2001), Janette Carter (2004) and Louise Scruggs (2006).


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