Country Music: The Masters With Audio CD

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A photographic love letter to the founders and legends of country music by musician and storyteller Marty Stuart.

When Marty Stuart first entered the Hard Rock Cafe, he was impressed to see the work of rock preservationists, yet realized that the artifacts of country music were being lost or destroyed. He set out to change that, becoming a leading curator of roots music memorabilia and photographer of roots founders.

After years of careful ...

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2008-11-01 Hardcover New New with sealed CD. Pages are clean and unmarked. Binding is secure. Cover is in good shape with a plastic slipcover. Orders packed carefully and ... shipped daily with tracking # emailed to you. Canadian and international orders welcomed! Read more Show Less

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A photographic love letter to the founders and legends of country music by musician and storyteller Marty Stuart.

When Marty Stuart first entered the Hard Rock Cafe, he was impressed to see the work of rock preservationists, yet realized that the artifacts of country music were being lost or destroyed. He set out to change that, becoming a leading curator of roots music memorabilia and photographer of roots founders.

After years of careful preservation, Stuart brings the early days of country to vibrant life again with Country Music: The Masters. In a unique pairing, completely original for a photography book of this scope, an integrated audio CD is included featuring 60 minutes of the fascinating stories behind selected photos. Stuart, a born storyteller, gives readers a glimpse into the subjects and the photograph at the moment the shutter snapped. The CD includes "Dark Bird," an unreleased song dedicated to Johnny Cash, written by Stuart after Cash's death. This new recording marks the first-ever commercial release of the song.

"A photograph can just be a piece of paper with an image on it... But when the observer with his finger on the button has the life experience it takes to understand the life he's shooting, the photograph is a story. Marty's photographs live and breathe. If it's a person, you can hear their thoughts, feel their pain or joy, and read at least a part of their story. If it's a building or a landscape, you can feel the presence of those who have walked there or lived there through the years."
- Billy Bob Thornton

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Overall Stuart has achieved what he sought, and that was to illustrate through its practitioners the richness, beauty, and dignity of this often denigrated art form. Certainly, he ranks high among the masters he celebrates. " - ForeWord

""Musician Stuart, who owns the world's largest private collection of country music memorabilia, serenades the genre's pioneers, stars and culture with this opulent coffee-table book." " - USA Today

""It's clear that Marty Stuart, who has been a successful country musician for nearly 40 years, understands that heart of hick darkness... a vast collection of photographs of country stars (and more)." " - The New York Times Book Review

""Marty Stuart's spectacular photo book is not just a chapter of American history, it's a love letter to the people and music that have helped shape our culture." " - Country Weekly

""There's a wealth of books for country fans in stores this holiday season... Among the most impressive works is Marty Stuart's lovingly collected and poetically remembered gallery of artist photographs..." " -

""Stuart's coverage of the greats and near-greats is comprehensive and often very candid, and even his blurred, snapped-on-the run photos have historic value." " - BookPage

"The digital version of Country Music expands the experience with audio integrated with the book's 400 photographs and the inclusion of a never-before-released song by Stuart, also integrated into the text" - Booklist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402214530
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 13.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Marty Stuart has scored six top-ten hits, one platinum and five gold albums, and four Grammy Awards. He has collaborated with artists ranging from Lester Flatt to Bob Dylan. Stuart has delivered impressive work as a photographer, writer, and collector, and hosts "Marty Stuart's American Odyssey" on XM.

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Read an Excerpt

It was around 2:30 on the Thursday morning of Labor Day weekend 1972 when I first set foot in the city some refer to as the "Athens of the South." I had ridden the bus 430 miles from Philadelphia for what was supposed to be a weekend visit with Roland White. Roland was the mandolin player in Lester Flatt's band. I had met him on the bluegrass festival circuit the previous summer. We had become friends and at the end of the run he had invited me to come to Nashville. He also remarked that he would ask Lester if I could "ride along with them for a show or two."

Labor Day weekend seemed like a good time, as I was beginning the ninth grade and loathing every minute of it. I had just come in from my first season on the touring circuit with the Sullivans where I'd graduated from a crash course in bohemian Pentecostal wanderings. I'd discovered applause, flashy clothes, late nights, adventurous girls, constant motion, money, the Holy Ghost, music, music, and more music and I loved every minute of it. I'd grown accustomed to it. But now that school had started, I had to give up all those things. I felt as though the circus had dropped me off at the edge of town and left me behind.

To entertain myself in class one day, I took a copy of a Country Song Roundup magazine to put inside my book and read. I got lost in a story. My teacher walked up behind me and knocked the books out of my hands. She informed me that if I'd "get my mind off of that garbage and get it onto history" that I might make something of myself. I informed her that I was more interested in making history than learning about it. That remark got me dismissed from school. I went home and called Roland and took him up on his offer for a visit. After some pleading with my family, they finally consented for me to go to Nashville for the weekend.

When I stepped off the bus that morning I was expecting Roland to be there to meet me. He was nowhere in sight. Thirty minutes later he still hadn't arrived. As I waited I couldn't help but notice how dark it was. No moon, no stars, the only movement in the sky was the night birds.

I had always dreamed of coming to Nashville. However, I didn't think I would get here this fast. I wanted to live in the land of rhinestone suits. It was country boy Hollywood, the air castle of the South, a dream factory. I didn't see much glamour before me that night at the bus station, though. Mostly a steady stream of tear-stained travelers who looked as if all their dreams were shattered, coming and going into the abyss of the Greyhound corridors. The first live music I heard in Music City came from a harmonica-playing street performer.

He was standing over a manhole cover with steam forming around him. It gave him a phantom-like presence. He played "Pins and Needles in My Heart" by Roy Acuff and then moved on without saying a word, and not a soul seemed to care.

I was beginning to get anxious as Roland was nowhere to be found. I picked up my bags and walked to the other side of the Greyhound station in hopes that he might be waiting there. He wasn't. What was waiting on me was a vision that I had not counted on seeing. I came face to face with the Mother Church of Country Music - the Ryman Auditorium. Just the sight of the place nearly drove me to my knees. The Ryman represented so much to me.

I'd collected stories about the Ryman. I'd read about Hank Williams encoring his song "The Lovesick Blues" on the Grand Ole Opry nine times one Saturday night. I knew of Johnny Cash dragging the microphone stand across the footlights on one of his bad nights, an incident that got him dismissed from the show. I was aware that on a Saturday night in 1945 a young banjo player from North Carolina named Earl Scruggs auditioned for Bill Monroe in one of the dressing rooms. After Monroe heard him, he was hired. It was from here that Monroe, along with Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Chubby Wise, and Cedric Rainwater, went on to blueprint the music now known as bluegrass.

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Table of Contents


1 Prelude (Instrumental)
2 Pillar of Fire
3 Saturday in Mississippi
4 Connie Smith Comes to Town
5 Sullivans in the Southland
6 Meeting Lester Flatt
7 Going on Tour with Lester Flatt
8 Mandolin Rip (Instrumental)
9 New York City
10 Stringbean
11 Blue, Blue City (Instrumental)
12 King of the Road
13 Wagonmaster
14 Father of Bluegrass
15 Country Music - The Masters
16 J.R.
17 Three Chords and the Truth
18 Dark Bird
19 The King of Broken Hearts
20 Same Old Train
21 The Vanishing (Instrumental)

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2011

    Excellent book for country music lovers

    I bought this as a gift for my sister in law and she was thrilled.
    She was really impressed with the CD included.

    I had seen this at the Marty Stuart store and they were asking almost three times as much, with no CD.

    Images are wonderful and it is very informative.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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