The 30 Best Marty Stuart Quotes

Marty Stuart might have the best hair in country music. His look is unparalleled. He’s one-part Matrix hero, one part knight in shining armor, and one part rockstar.

Videos by American Songwriter

Indeed, he’s had an indelible career in country music. An ambassador to the genre.

The 64-year-old Philadelphia, Mississippi-born artist was a touring member of Johnny Cash’s road band before working as a solo artist in the 1980s. He’s released more than 20 albums, and has charted more than 30 times on the Billboard hot country songs.

But what does the Country Music Hall of Famer and member of the Grand Ole Opry have to say about life, in general, outside of his songs? About love and the craft he devoted himself to?

Let’s dive into the 30 best quotes from Marty Stuart.

1. “People shouldn’t be punished for their wisdom.”

2. “There was a junk store in Nashville on 8th Avenue, where I bought Patsy Cline’s train case for $75.”

3. “Well, being from Mississippi, the church house is kind of the common denominator. It was for me growing up. Like so many public performers, that was the first place I was ever invited to sing.”

4. “Pop Staples was one of my true mentors.”

5. “I’m always on the prowl for the kinds of recordings that can inspire and potentially make a difference.”

6. “When times are good, we have tunes to dance to; when times are tough, we’re supposed to talk about it. That’s country music.”

7. “One thing that I love about country music, probably more so than any other culture—maybe the blues rivals it—there are so many American folk heroes. There’s the Coal Miner’s Daughter, the Man in Black, the Red-Headed Stranger, and on and on.”

8. “The history of country music is as important as any other art form.”

9. “After something has run its course, you either become a parody and keep doing it, or tear it down and know the truth about it, warts and all.”

10. “The black church in the South is the home of rock & roll.”

11. “Well, I’ve always said that country music has always shared a very unique relationship with gospel music—the hooting and hollering, you know, always in abundance.”

12. “When country music is doing its job, it reports on the good, bad, and indifferent of our human condition.”

13. “After people work hard and cope with the pressures of life throughout the week, going out to a show or tuning in to watch some characters in cowboy clothes, singing and playing songs about real life is something I relate to.”

14. “From the first time I played with Lester Flatt, I sensed an extreme amount of history around me.”

15. “The Ryman and the Grand Ole Opry, if you’re a Southern boy, is just a way of life.”

16. “Nobody in my school knew who Bill Monroe was, or Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, and barely Johnny Cash. Nobody spoke that language. I proceeded to get myself kicked out.”

17. “We need a new Hank Williams, a new Jimmy Webb. We need new writers, a new Tom Petty. We need people that write what they feel and what they see—things that are relevant.”

18. “I learned things by being in Lester Flatts’ band, and I learned things by playing with Johnny Cash, and I learned from Pop Staples. I’m a sponge.”

19. “Being sober and clear-eyed changes everything.”

20. “I saw footage of Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley just hanging out together in Memphis when they were young guys getting started at Sun, listening to records together. That was beautiful to me.”

21. “I make no apology about being a hillbilly.”

22. “I used to watch those syndicated, black-and-white Country Music Television shows from the ’60s with my dad. And all of those people that played on our television set, they just felt like family to me. And I believed in my heart, as a little kid, that I would be doing that someday and I would know all those people and we would be friends.”

23. “Well, the first band was at nine, and I was on the road when I was 12 with the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers.”

24. “I have a low-tech camera with one lens that I’ve shot everything in my life on. My subjects and my subject matter sometimes really are powerful, and so my job is to get it into focus.”

25. “Well, the things that country music is parodied for sometimes—trains, drinking, sin, cheating, redemption, jailhouses, rambling, hoboing, on and on, all those things—according to The New York Times, every one of those subject matters is still relevant.”

26. “Addiction is a crazy disease. It’s a progressive disease when it’s not dealt with; it don’t care who it takes, and it takes it all. You wind up losing your house, your home, your reputation.”

27. “I started out in gospel music. A lot of people don’t know that I started out in gospel music, and I’ve never lost sight of it.”

28. “It’s hard for a country performer to make a living in a Beatles society.”

29. “In the middle of Mississippi, so many kinds of music came, but it was Nashville and country music that pulled my heart.”

30. “Unconditional love goes a long way.”

Photo by Mickey Bernal/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

Exclusive Premiere: Rob Mayes Captivates on “Dark Nights” from ‘5,000 Blankets’