The Story of The Congress
Future Home to the Largest Private Collection of Country Music Artifacts in the World
Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music reclaims, redefines, and reintroduces the true heart and soul of country music. As country music’s most notable ambassador and culture’s main archetypal crusader, Marty Stuart’s mission is to preserve and propel the authenticity of the culture of country music to future generations. Marty Stuart’s Congress of Country Music is the home to thelargest private collection of country music artifacts in the world.
Recently, when asked what is the most outlaw thing you could possibly do in Nashville these days, Marty Stuart replied, “Play country music.”
John Marty Stuart was born September 30, 1958, in Philadelphia, Mississippi. A child prodigy on guitar and mandolin, Marty made his first professional appearance at the age of 12, performing with country legends Carl and Pearl Butler. A few months later, he joined the bluegrass group the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers. A year later, he was touring with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass, making his debut on the Grand Ole Opry at just 13. By the age of 21, he was a member of Johnny Cash’s band. Since leaving his mentor’s band, Stuart has become one of the most respected country music artists of our time.
The young rebel, who set out to shake Nashville up, is now regarded as a rogue statesman. Ace musician, distinctive vocalist, skilled songwriter, poet, inspired bandleader, photographer, knowledgeable historian, and exciting entertainer, Marty Stuart occupies a space all his own in the world of country music. Though he is a staunch traditionalist, the five-time Grammy winner encourages the expansion of all boundaries in taking country music to a global audience. ~ Special thanks to Alan Cackett
MARTY'S WALKTHROUGH of the Congress of County Music
Board of Directors
Liza Cirlot Looser
America’s Premier Documentarian
Executive Director, John Wayne Birthplace & Museum
American Roots Music Professor
Berklee College of Music
King of Country Couture
Director of Tourism, State of Mississippi
Executive Producer, Grand Ole Opry
Country Music Legend
Moving image Curator, Library of Congress
Country Music Legend
Music Curator, Smithsonian Institution
CEO, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
HOW WE GOT HERE
Collection and archives are amassed.
The Mississippi initiative is announced during the Electric Barnyard Tour, featuring Merle Haggard, Connie Smith, Old Crow Medicine Show and Rhonda Vincent, at William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak property in Oxford, MS.
The Marty Stuart Collection is formally established in partnership with the Tennessee State Museum. The Collection is curated and opened to the public in an exhibit entitled, “Sparkle & Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey.”
After a record-breaking stay at the Tennessee State Museum, the exhibit travels to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles, the Arkansas State Museum, and the Riley Center in Meridian, MS.
The first of 156 Marty Stuart television shows airs. The shows are sponsored by Mississippi Tourism and Neshoba County Tourism.
The concept of the Country Music Trail is spearheaded; with the assistance of Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the Mississippi State Legislature is lobbied to pass legislation to create the landmark-based attraction.
The Marty Stuart Drive permanent marker is dedicated in Arlington, MS.
Neshoba County donates the old Coca-Cola building in downtown Philadelphia, MS, to house the collection and archives while funds are raised for permanent display space. $1 Million dollars in state bond money is awarded for the renovation of the building. The Marty Stuart Archives/Collection is appraised.
$500,000 in state bond money is awarded for the renovation of the building.