On our visit with country entertainer Marty Stuart in Nashville, we heard a brand new song he wrote and talked with him about songwriting and his role in the country music world.
"Song writing is the hardest thing in the world to explain," said Stuart. "I think Hank Williams gave the best answer about it. Someone asked him about writing songs; he said, 'I don't write them. God writes them, and I just hang on to the pen.' I never know when one's going to come."
Stuart says he has awakened with new songs in his head and has even stopped in traffic to write them down.
He also spoke of dealing with something many artists have dealt with....eventually a point is reached when radio stops playing your music.
"When I was with Lester Flatt's band, they had been in business since 1949 and hadn't had a hit in a long time," said Stuart. "When I was with Johnny Cash, he had been in business since 1955. Hadn't had a hit in a while, and it didn't matter one bit."
So with no feelings of discouragement, he keeps on doing what he loves.
"I've got a 1996 Cadillac that is paid for. It drinks regular gas. I've got that Telecaster guitar. I've got cool cowboy boots, some cowboy clothes, a TV show, and I'm married to Connie Smith. I've got 15 dollars in two different banks. I'm happy," Stuart said.
Behind the scenes at Marty's studio, we were able
to walk around and enjoy the place. We spotted Connie Smith's dressing room and knocked on the door.
We asked her what she thinks Marty Stuart's legacy is in country music.
"I keep hearing 'he's saving country music.' But he's also such a connoisseur of every kind of music," said Smith, Stuart's wife and a legend in her own right. "He's a renaissance man if there ever was one. I may be prejudiced, but apart from that I'm a huge fan. I think he's a genius."
Marty's band, The Fabulous Superlatives, agree.
"He is one of the most talented people I've ever met in my life," said "Cousin" Kenny Vaughn. "I've learned so much about music from him, and it never ends. Every day I learn something new."
"Marty understands the past because he was part of it. With Lester Flatt at 13 years old he was with the masters," said "Apostle" Paul Martin. "He learned from the best of the best then he had a career of his own. He's the tie to the past, present, and future."
"It's onwards and upwards. We've got these new suits," said "Handsome" Harry Stinson. "We're ready to get on the bus tonight. Come on and go with us!"
That bus has taken Marty Stuart all the way from Philadelphia to the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and every once in a while, that bus still comes back to Philadelphia, Mississippi.