There may be no greater contemporary champion of classic country music than Marty Stuart. Growing up, he was obsessed with country music and began playing mandolin as a child. The five time Grammy winner was in Lester Flatts’ band at fourteen, playing with him for six years, and then worked with Vasser Clements and Doc Watson. Finally landing in Johnny Cash’s band. Stuart played with Cash until 1985 and married his daughter Cindy.

Stuart’s solo career started slowly with his self titled 1985 release selling slowly despite having a popular single. His label refused to release his followup and around the same time he and Cindy divorced. Marty Stuart left Nashville to return to his native Mississippi to regroup, but in a couple of years returned to restart his career in a far more successful way.

Marty Stuart’s dedication to classic country extends to his collection of music memorabilia, which has been displayed at the Tennessee State Museum and later at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum . When the Country Music Hall of Fame needed exhibit materials, they turned to Stuart for help.

Marty Stuart also hosts a weekly radio show modeled after the old Porter Wagoner musical variety show with his band the Fabulous Superlatives. This love of classic country will culminate with a museum and performance hall in his planned for his Mississippi hometown to display his collection of 20,000 country music artifacts, including handwritten lyrics from Hank Williams.