John Martin Stuart goes by his nickname Marty Stuart and is widely known for his blend of classic country and rockabilly music. Born in Philadelphia, Stuart developed a taste for country music that prompted him to teach himself how to play the guitar and mandolin. Before he was even a teenager, he was performing with the bluegrass band The Sullivans. After meeting Lester Flatt guitarist Roland White, Stuart was invited to be a permanent part of the band and played with it broke up in 1978. Stuart moved on to work with fiddler Vassar Clements, guitarist Doc Watson and perhaps most notably, he joined Johnny Cash's back up band in 1980. His initial solo albums With a Little Help From My Friends and Busy Bee Cafe, respectively from 1979 and 1982, were created strictly out of a bluegrass lens and never saw commercial success. Stuart left Johnny Cash's band in 1985 to seriously pursue a solo career. Signed to MCA Records, he released his first acclaimed album in 1989 titled Hillbilly Rock, which earned him praise for incorporating rockabilly with southern honky tonk sounds. Over the next two decades, Stuart recorded 14 studio albums, published photos and articles covering the country music scene, received his own country music television show and served on the board of the Country Music Foundation, submerging himself in everything country and solidifying his name as one of the most versatile musicians in the genre.
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