Thursday, December 9, 2021
– Marty Stuart shared his new cover of Tommy Cash's "Six White Horses" the ninth single off "Songs I Sing In The Dark," a collection of songs recorded acoustically at Stuart's former home outside of Nashville.
Stuart said, "Dec. 1, 1969, was a night I'll never forget. My mother took my sister Jennifer and me to the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson to see the Johnny Cash Show. John R. Cash was about the hottest star on the planet at the time and was on the verge of becoming even hotter. The whole troupe that I knew so well from The Johnny Cash television show were all there in the Magnolia State's capitol city on that cool winter evening."
"Everyone in the cast buzzed the crowd when their turn in the spotlight came around. Carl Perkins performed his classics. The Tennessee Three sounded like a glorious old freight train that rattled through the songs with new guitarist Bob Wootton. Mother Maybelle and her girls turned the place into a sanctuary when they sang 'You've Got to Walk That Lonesome Valley." June Carter made us laugh. But when it was Tommy Cash's moment in the show, he stepped up to the microphone and put a spell on the place with his somber new story song that spoke of the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. The piece was called "Six White Horses.'"
"Even though I was only 11 years old, I understood his story. The images of those six white horses pulling JFK's body from the Capitol to Arlington Cemetery touched me deeply back in 1963 when I, along with the rest of the world, watched the procession on our black and white television and then the unthinkable occurred again and again. As a people, we gathered around our TVs and watched and cried and cried some more in 1968 after the assassinations of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy. We asked ourselves, how could such a great nation go so wrong?"
"Looking back, it took a great deal of courage for Tommy Cash to sing 'Six White Horses' in that deep South coliseum at that moment in time. Master songwriter Harlan Howard's often quoted description of country music as being 'three chords and the truth' is borne out in the words of the great song. Larry Murray indeed wrote himself a compact and powerful piece of musical literature that subtotaled three tragic events in our nation's history."
"Until this day, the song possesses a hypnotic power that transports the listener, as well as the messenger, back in time, all the while serving up a reminder that even though the world has continued to turn in the aftermath of those evil deeds, no amount of time nor rain has ever completely washed away the bloodstains of the three men heralded here in the words of one of country music's most august documents."
"Several tours back, The Fabulous Superlatives and I took on "';ix White Horses.' The song quickly became a concert centerpiece. When we catch it right, 'Six White Horses' becomes a magic carpet of a song. It's a sky's the limit musical adventure. Part history lesson, part current social commentary. Consider the line in the third verse, "Welcome, welcome to our town, I hope nobody tries to gun you down.' Some nights we've played the song for four and a half minutes. On some occasions, it's closer to a 10-minute ride. I never know. The spirit leads the way."
"Tommy Cash has my love and respect. He is a good man, a noble ambassador in the Cash dynasty. I thank him for singing 'Six White Horses" in Jackson on that night so long ago. The story needed to be told and it still does. Always will. The song is a sad tale. Three verses represent three men's lives who die in the prime of their lives in the midst of doing what they believed they were called to do. For those of us who were alive during those times, perhaps a little piece of our hearts went away with John, Martin, and Bobby. It still hurts, doesn't it. I pray that we never have need for a song the likes of 'Six White Horses' ever again"
Stuart has been sharing a new song from the album a month, alongside a personal statement about each song's importance, both personally and in the context of country music.
The Country Music Association announced the induction of Stuart into the Country Music Hall of Fame's class of 2020 in the Modern Era Artist category.