American Ballads

The last portrait of Johnny Cash, taken by Marty Stuart four days before Cash died.

Marty Stuart. John R. Cash, Last Portrait, September 8, 2003, 2003. Archival pigment print. © Marty Stuart

I recently was able to interview country music traditionalist Marty Stuart about photography. Stuart, who had a string of country hits in the 1990s and now carries to torch for traditional country and bluegrass music, has been a photographer on the highways and backroads of America since he was a teenager, photographing such legends and luminaries as Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash. (That’s the last photograph taken of The Man in Black, taken by Stuart, just a few days before Cash died in 2003.)

More than 60 of his black & white images are on exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. The American Ballads exhibition continues through November 2, 2014.

This link opens a three-page PDF of my story on Stuart and his photographic storytelling that I wrote for the Spring 2014 issue of Sports & Entertainment Nashville Magazine.