Saturday, November 24, 2012

Marty Stuart-20 Years As An Opry Member

This week will mark the 20th Grand Ole Opry anniversary of Marty Stuart, who joined the cast of the Opry on November 28, 1992. What made this date even more significant was the it was the 67th "official" anniversary of the start of the Opry and it was the first Grand Ole Opry show to take place after the death of Roy Acuff, who had passed away earlier in the week.

While this will be Marty's 20th anniversary as an Opry member, he first came to the Opry many years before that as he made his Opry debut at the age of 13 as a member of Lester Flatt's band. After Lester passed away, Marty spent time touring with various artists including Johnny Cash, with whom he toured for 6 years as a member of Cash's band. I might also add that he was married for a period of time to Johnny's daughter. In 1989, he signed with MCA Records and in 1990 had his first Top 10 hit with "Hillbilly Rock". He followed that up with "Tempted", "Little Things", "Till I Found You", and "Burn Me Down." In addition, he had several hits as a duet partner with Travis Tritt, including "The Whiskey Ain't Workin", which won a Grammy Award.

Not only is Marty a hit making artist, but he also is a country music historian, having collected what is considered one of the largest collections of country music memorabilia. He also is a past President of the Country Music Foundation, which oversees the Country Music Hall of Fame. Marty is also known as a great photographer and has even published a book of his photos. His "Marty Stuart Show" on RFD-TV is the highest rated program on the network and has featured such classic country music performers as Kitty Wells, Freddie Hart and Stonewall Jackson, among others. The show is now in production for the new season, with the new shows starting in 2013. And, he is married to fellow Opry member Connie Smith.

Marty has generally supported the Opry during the years he has been a member. He along with Ricky Skaggs and Vince Gill have challenged others from their generation to support the Opry and he has been vocal in his support of the show. After the flood in 2010, he performed at the first show Opry show that took place the following night. 

Here is the line-up from Saturday November 28, 1992, the night Marty Stuart joined the Grand Ole Opry.

1st show
6:30: GHS Strings
Boxcar Willie (host): There's Nothing Like A Good Old Country Song
Mike Snider: The Fur Coat
Boxcar Willie: The Great Speckled Bird

6:45: Hall of Fame
Grandpa Jones (host): Nashville On My Mind
Jim Ed Brown: The Doll Maker
Bill Carlisle: Elvira
Grandpa Jones: My Little Old Home In New Orleans

7:00: Shoney's
Del Reeves (host): Two Dollars In The Jukebox/A Dime At A Time/Looking At The World Through My Windshield
Charlie Louvin: The Family Who Prays
Jeanne Pruett: Satin Sheets
The Whites: Pins & Needles
Skeeter Davis: The End Of The World

7:30: Standard Candy
Jimmy Dickens (host): Wabash Cannonball
Jeannie Seely: As Long As I Live/My Tears Don't Show
Ray Pillow: I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
Marty Stuart: Tempted/The Long Black Veil
Jimmy Dickens: I Saw The Light

8:00: Martha White
Bill Anderson (host): Wild Weekend
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Brother Oswald: I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
Jimmy C Newman: La Cajun Band
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Liberty
Bill Anderson: I Love You Drops

8:30: Kraft
Hank Snow (host): Forever And One Day
Jean Shepard: Let's All Go Down To The River/I Saw The Light/Will The Circle Be Unbroken/I'll Fly Away/Somebody Touched Me
Roy Drusky: Too Old To Die Young
4 Guys: I'm Bound For Higher Ground
Stonewall Jackson: Old Chunk Of Coal
Hank Snow: I've Cried A Mile

2nd show
9:30: Dollar General
Jimmy Dickens (host): Sleeping At The Foot Of The Bed
Wilma Lee Cooper: He Will Set Your Fields On Fire
Jan Howard: Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good
Marty Stuart: This One's Gonna Hurt You A Long, Long Time/I'll Take The Blame/Hillbilly Rock
Jimmy Dickens: My Eyes Are Jealous

10:00: Little Debbie
Grandpa Jones (host): What'll I Do With The Baby
Del Reeves: Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me
Grandpa Jones: Gone Home

10:15: Tennessee Pride/Sunbeam
Boxcar Willie (host): There's Nothing Like A Good Old Country Song
Billy Walker: Peace In The Valley
Boxcar Willie: Wabash Cannonball

10:30: Randy Travis Enterprises
Bill Anderson (host): Country Fried
The Whites: San Antonio Rose
Bill Anderson: City Lights

10:45: B.C. Powder
4 Guys (host): How Married Are You Mary Ann
Charlie Louvin: I Love You Best Of All
Opry Square Dance Band/Melvin Sloan Dancers: Snow Flake Reel
4 Guys: Farther Along

11:00: Coca-Cola
Hank Snow (host): There's A Fool Such As I
Jean Shepard: Bouquet Of Roses
Charlie Walker: A Way To Free Myself
Justin Tubb: Waltz Across Texas
Mike Snider: Soldier's Joy/Angeline The Baker/Old Molly Hare
Hank Snow: These Things Shall Past

11:30: Creamette
Jimmy C Newman (host): Cajun's Dream
Connie Smith: The Deepening Snow
Roy Drusky: As Long As I Live
Johnny Russell: In A Mansion Stands My Love/He'll Have To Go
Jimmy C Newman: Colinda

On Saturday December 8, Marty will be on the Opry and celebrating his 20th anniversary as an Opry member. It should be a great night and I will be at the Opry that weekend. Congratulations to Marty Stuart!!


  1. I think there were 30 members present that night. A far cry from 20 years later, and I hope Marty realizes that.

    Great lineup and great information, Byron. I remember that night, Marty made a comment that got him into some trouble, using a term for older fans that's a bit ... jocular. I thought it was beautiful. I thought my mother was going to buy a ticket to fly to Nashville to kill him. But he's been a good member and a good standard-bearer for real country music, including having one of the only great bands among us. And he overmarried, no question about that!

  2. This must have been a sad night at the Opry. Hard to believe Roy has been gone 20 years.

    Marty Stuart is a great traditionalist. I enjoy his weekly show on RFD. I wish he would commit more time to the Opry. But I am not going to complain because he does beat almost everyone at his generation on attending, (especially his buddy Travis Tritt). I can see a future bronze plaque in the Hall of Fame one day for Marty.

  3. Yes David, it was a somber weekend in my opinion. I managed to get in the door for all three shows. Our seats were at the very top but I spent most of my time down on the floor taking photos.

    On Friday night Porter Wagoner read a poem about Roy while Roy’s most recent history book photo was posted on the big screen. Porter mentioned that he would not be on the Saturday show. The Smoky Mountain Boys appeared on the Friday show and Larry and Dan played with Bill Anderson on his opening song. I remember that Stonewall Jackson spoke for about five minutes about Roy before he snag.

    On Saturday night the curtain went up at the open of the first show and the photo of Roy was again on the screen and a fiddle and bow were posed at center stage on a black clothed table. The lights were down and a recorded memorial statement by Bud Wendell was played. Then, in what I thought was a tacky move, two stage hands walked to center stage and carried off the table with the fiddle and bow, the lights went up and the show went on. I thought they should have lowered the curtain and raised again after the fiddle was removed! It was still an emotional event to me. The only thing more emotional was listening to Oswald play the dobro that night!

    When Marty was introduced on the TV portion he said something along the lines of “how are all you old farts tonight” which at the time cut me like a knife but I eventually got over it. If it had not been a memorial evening for Roy I would have probably never thought much about it. At the end of the TV portion many of the members joined Jimmy on stage to sing I Saw the Light. Throughout the evening most everyone had some comment to make about Mr. Acuff and many of the songs sang were either his favorite of that artist or one of his own songs.

    I still enjoy the Opry but the era of the Opry that I loved and enjoyed the most began to fade away that damp cold November weekend in Nashville. It is so hard to believe it has been twenty years.

    I would be interested in hearing what Barry remembers of that week.

    Knightsville, IN

  4. Jim, you're close. Marty's second song was "Long Black Veil" and he said that was for "the old farts." But I got over it, too.