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Stuart’s many musical friends include Leavittsburg native

Marty Stuart seems to have worked with just about everyone in country music and bluegrass.

With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he counts among his friends Leavittsburg native Jerry Douglas, the dobro master who has appeared on more than 1,600 albums and won 14 Grammy Awards since he graduated from LaBrae High School in 1974.

Both were among the new generation of musicians who became involved with bluegrass in the 1970s, players who were respectful of its traditions but also drew upon other genres for inspiration.

“Jerry and I have been friends since we were growing up out on the circuit,” Stuart said. “That was one of the golden moments of my growing up. On the bluegrass festival circuit, all of the sudden there was — well, Ricky Skaggs and Keith Whitley were there before I got there — but I showed up along with Carl Jackson, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Mark O’Connor, those kind of pickers. I don’t think nobody’d seen the likes of them. I love Flux (Douglas’ nickname). He’s such a cool guy.

“Anybody with that level of musical gifting, they have every right in the world not to be able to tie their shoe or speak English, but Jerry remains one of the most down-to-earth people you could ever meet.”

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