Marty Stuart Says Fifth Grammy “Means the World To Me”

Marty Stuart‘s musical tribute to the Byrds’ guitarist Clarence White, titled “Hummingbyrd,” won Stuart his fifth Grammy on Sunday (Feb. 13) in Los Angeles. White was killed in 1973 after being hit by a drunk driver while he was loading equipment into a car following a reunion gig with one of his earlier bands, the Kentucky Colonels. After gaining prominence in bluegrass circles for his acoustic style, White gained national attention in the Byrds for his distinctive electric guitar style using a B-bender, a device that changes the pitch of the instrument’s B string. Stuart’s tribute resulted in his third career win in the best country instrumental performance category. The song comes from his latest album, Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions). “It really means the world to me to be recognized by my peers for this piece,” said Stuart. “My main electric guitar belonged to Clarence White, the great guitarist for the Byrds. After Clarence’s death, I bought this guitar from his wife. I’ve played it on a lot of hits and on a lot of records, but I’ve never felt like — to the Clarence White fans who watch me or who actually watch the guitar — I’ve laid down a profound instrumental that pays homage to Clarence. I wrote this song and gave it a title that pays tribute to Clarence. I consider it my B-bender recital piece.”