Grammy winning country artist leads tour of memorabilia collection at Two Mississippi Museums

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Grammy award-winning country singer Marty Stuart’s rare collection of memorabilia opens to the public tomorrow at the Two Mississippi Museums.

The Philadelphia native shares his journey through the world of country music in an exhibit entitled “The World of Marty Stuart.”

“My mama named me after Marty Robbins, and that’s Marty Robbins’ boots,” said Stuart pointing to a glass case containing the boots, a fiddle, a guitar, his mother’s brownie camera, and more items.

With the name of a famous country singer, Marty Stuart was destined for greatness. Friday, he walked through the galleries of his collection of country music artifacts gathered over 50 years.

“So many of the pieces that are upstairs on exhibit were rescue items,” said the five-time Grammy award winner. “They were globally regarded treasures that had wound up in thrift stores or private collections. Places like that that nobody cared anything about, but they looked important to me.”

The 63-year-old loaned more than 350 pieces to “The World of Marty Stuart Exhibit,” each with a story. Some of his favorites are his first guitar and the dress worn by his wife, Connie Smith, from the concert where he first saw her.

“That’s Connie’s autograph I got that night,” said Stuart noting the framed page next to her aqua blue sequins dress.”

He pays tribute to the legends before him, like Lester Flatts and Johnny Cash. Preserving items he’s found and gifts he received from country music royalty over the decades.

“So many of those people raised me. They were like family,” said the Mississippi native. “So to see their items kinds disregarded it looks wrong, but as a part of the American culture, it seemed wrong to discard that strand of American culture.”

Stuart calls his work a self-appointed mission. A portion of that journey will be on display through December 31.

“It is a great American tale rooted from Mississippi.”

Exhibit items will later become a part of the permanent collection in the Congress of Country Music, a museum in Philadelphia.

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Roslyn Anderson

Roslyn Anderson

Roslyn Anderson is a reporter at WLBT and Fox40 News in Jackson, MS.