Library of Congress acquires Marty Stuart’s audio-visual collection of country music history
|Marty Stuart – via Marty’s Facebook Page|
Grand Ole Opry star and multiple Grammy Award winner Marty Stuart has amassed one of the largest private collections of memorabilia documenting country-music history. The Library of Congress announced in mid-May that the world’s largest library has acquired hundreds of hours of historic country-music footage, recordings and other audio-visual materials from Stuart’s vast collection. The Marty Stuart Collection will complement the Library’s existing collections from such iconic performers as Pete Seeger, Les Paul, Max Roach, Gerry Mulligan, Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope.
The audio-visual collection features more than 100 hours of footage shot on the road, including at the Grand Ole Opry; complete television episodes of “The Johnny Cash Show,” “Flatt and Scruggs Grand Ole Opry” and the “Marty Stuart Show”; rare home movies of the Lester Flatt Band on tour; and music videos from throughout Stuart’s career, including the songs “Tempted,” “Little Things” and “Burn Me Down.” Stuart donated portions of the collection and the rest was acquired via purchase.
In celebration of the acquisition, Stuart performed at the Library’s Packard Campus Theater, located at the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The Library plans to collaborate with Stuart to present a series of events highlighting traditional American music and its place in the nation’s audio-visual history. Featuring a combination of conversation and music, “The Library of Congress and Marty Stuart Present” event in May will showcase Harry Stinson, Kenny Vaughan and Chris Scruggs, the musicians who form Stuart’s popular band, The Fabulous Superlatives.
“For this celebration event, The Fabulous Superlatives will be profiled individually and collectively,” said Stuart. “Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Chris Scruggs are modern masters of their craft, each one a statesman. Their stories will fit well into the archives of the Library of Congress.”
Stinson added: “I can’t wait to get back to the ‘seed bank’ of American film and audio culture, the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus! I admire the passion and diligence of every soul working there to restore and preserve our artistic heritage.”
From his early days as a teen mandolinist, and later as Johnny Cash’s guitarist, to his popularity as a solo artist, Stuart has always been interested in the preservation of the country-music heritage. “After spending the better part of two days touring the Packard Campus facility in 2015, the historian and archivist part of me was energized beyond measure,” said Stuart. “I dearly love the Library. It stands as a timeless symbol of our nation’s creative powers and serves as a reminder that there is indeed a destination for works that are led forth by the guardian angels of inspiration and integrity.”
Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website with over 20 years experience in music journalism, concert planning, photography, and promotion. Jessica is a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the 2019 Leadership Kentucky BRIGHT Class and a recipient of the Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award. Listen to her each week on WFKY on Friday mornings for the Nashville News Roundup.