Marty Stuart Brings the Gospel to Country Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Marty Stuart is a country music legend and he’s known for his gospel-infused songs. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Stuart brings the gospel to country music.

Marty Stuart’s musical journey

Marty Stuart has had a long and storied career in country music, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down. He’s a musicologist, historian, and a collector of American music memorabilia. He’s also a talented songwriter and performer, and he’s bringing the gospel to country music.

His early days playing with Johnny Cash

Marty Stuart was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. His father was a Baptist preacher, and his mother was a church pianist. When Stuart was four years old, he started playing the mandolin. He was inspired by Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, the bluegrass musicians who played with Bill Monroe. When he was eight years old, Stuart performed on stage with bluegrass legend Jimmy Martin.

In the 1970s, Stuart began playing guitar in a rockabilly band called the Timesavers. He also started to play country music with the country-rock band the Kentucky Headhunters. In 1980, he moved to Nashville to pursue a career in country music.

Stuart met Johnny Cash in 1980 and started playing guitar in his band. He toured with Cash for three years and appeared on his albums “One Piece at a Time” and “The Adventures of Johnny Cash.” In 1985, Stuart released his own album, “Busy Bee Cafe.”

His time as a solo artist

Marty Stuart had a string of solo hits in the late 1980s and early 1990s, beginning with his 1986 debut album Marty Stuart. The album’s first two singles, “Arlene” and “Hillbilly Rock”, both reached the top five on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) chart; “Hillbilly Rock” also peaked at number 24 on Billboard’s Hot 100, making it a minor crossover hit. Two more singles from the album, “Tempted” and ” Western Girls”, both reached the country top ten as well. In 1989, Stuart released his second album, produced by Tony Brown and featuring the number one country hit “Little Things”.

The gospel according to Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart may be the only person in Nashville who can make a rhinestone cowboy suit look like a holy garment. It’s not just the suit: It’s the whole package—the long, flowing hair; the ever-present smile; the twang in his voice that sounds like it’s been soaked in bacon grease. Stuart is country music’s most visible link to its gospel roots, and he’s been preaching the gospel according to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and other legends since he was a teenager touring with bluegrass pioneer Lester Flatt.

His early exposure to gospel music

Marty Stuart was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Mississippi. He and his twin brother, Matt, were raised in a strict Pentecostal home. Their father was a minister and their mother played piano in the church. The family didn’t own a television, but they did have a radio that they listened to on Sunday mornings. That’s where Marty first heard country music. He was especially drawn to the gospel songs that were featured on the Grand Ole Opry.

Marty started playing guitar when he was eight years old. When he was 12, he became the guitarist for Jerry Lee Lewis. He toured with Lewis for four years and then went on to play with Johnny Cash’s backing band. In 1986, he released his first solo album. His most recent album is “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning” (2010).

His incorporation of gospel into his own country music

Marty Stuart is a living legend in country music. A five-time Grammy winner, he has had numerous No. 1 hits, and his songs have been recorded by some of the biggest names in the business. He is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

While Stuart is widely known for his contributions to country music, he is also a devout Christian and incorporates gospel into his own music. This combination of faith and country has led Stuart to be a unique voice in the genre, and one that is cherished by fans.

In an interview with The Boot, Stuart explained how he came to fuse gospel and country together:

“My mom and dad were Pentecostal preachers, so I grew up preaching; my granddad was a Baptist preacher,” Stuart said. “I grew up in the church, but I also loved Hank Williams, so it’s always been in me — that yin and yang of country music and gospel music.”

Stuart went on to say that he sees his music as an extension of his faith.

“I think that if you don’t have something bigger than yourself to sing about — whether it be your mama or your truck or your God — then you’re not going to make it,” Stuart said. “You need something transcendent to sing about.”

Stuart has released several gospel albums throughout his career, including 2001’s “The Pilgrim,” which won a Grammy for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album. He has also been nominated for several GMA Dove Awards, which are given out annually by the Gospel Music Association.

The response to Stuart’s gospel-infused country music

When Marty Stuart isn’t busy being a member of the Grand Ole Opry or inducting country legends into the Country Music Hall of Fame, he’s making music that’s a little closer to his roots: gospel-infused country music. Stuart’s latest album, ‘No More Hangin’ Around’, is a collection of traditional gospel songs that have been country-fied, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

His fans

Generally, Stuart’s fans have responded positively to his Gospel-infused country music. Many of them appreciate that he is remaining true to his roots and his faith, and they enjoy the positive messages in his songs. Some fans have even said that Stuart’s music has helped them through difficult times in their own lives.

The country music industry

The response to Stuart’s gospel-infused country music has been mixed. Some in the country music industry have embraced Stuart’s unique blend of styles, while others have been more hesitant.

Country music traditionally has been resistant to outside influences, and some in the industry view Stuart’s use of gospel elements as a foreign intrusion. However, others see his music as a natural extension of the genre’s roots in American folk music.

Regardless of the industry response, Stuart’s music has resonated with many fans, both inside and outside the country music world. His passion for his faith and his love of country music are evident in every song he writes, and that passion is translating into success on both a commercial and critical level.

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