CENTRAL CITY, Ky. (10/71/13) – When Marty Brown steps on stage on October 19th in downtown Central City, it will not be first time to perform in Muhlenberg County for the "America's Got Talent" semi-finalist.
This down-home country kid from Maceo was an aspiring country singer more than two decades ago in 1990, when he entered the talent contest that accompanied the Central City Everly Brothers Music Festival.
According to Hugh Sweatt, one of the coordinators of the upcoming concert event, "He didn't win in the eyes of the judges that year, but the crowd gave him a standing ovation. From there he went to Nashville and met Ralph Emery, the famous country disc jockey and television personality. Ralph took a liking to the young man and recognized his talent and gave him both radio and television exposure. It all paid off when major label MCA Records signed him to a recording contract. "
Marty Brown went on to have recording success with hits like “Every Now and Then", "In My Wildest Dreams", "High and Dry” and a host of other popular country songs throughout the early and mid-1990s. In 1992 Brown returned to The Everly Brothers Music Festival as a star on the main stage as a headline act.
Brown then decided to step out of the spotlight, and devoted most of his time to songwriting in the ensuing years. This paid off when he co-wrote the huge number one country song, “I’m from the Country and I Like it That Way” with Stan Webb and Kentucky Headhunter Richard Young. Byrd's version of the song climbed to top of the country charts in the U.S. and Canada. Most of Marty’s work in those years was behind the scenes.
It was during this period that he met and married his wife Shellie. Shellie was also a devoted fan and encouraged Marty to “chase his dream,” and start making public appearances again. She even entered him in the 2013 version of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” where he advanced to the semi-finals. He dedicated his first song to her and the judges and America loved him.
Since returning from New York, where the T.V. show is based, Marty has been in demand for concerts and appearances. He recently appeared at the Kentucky State Fair with Montgomery Gentry, and has booked several dates in the Kentucky and Tennessee area.
"He still remembers where he came from, and the folks that have supported him over the years including the folks in Muhlenberg County,” said Sweatt. “When contacted by officials of the Rock & Roll Festival (formerly known as the Central City Music Festival) about returning to a Central City stage, he gladly agreed to do it and even wants to come early for a “meet and greet” for his fans where he’ll sign autographs and pose with them for pictures."
With a nose for up and coming talent, Sweatt and the committee then contacted another group whose star is rising fast, Boys of Broad, from Muhlenberg County.
The Muhlenberg County group, who honors downtown Central City's Broad Street with their band's name, was huge hit at the Central City Cruise-in in August.
"They agreed to play on the same stage and Marty Brown has contacted them wanting to do a couple of songs with them." Sweatt said, adding, "This group has an outstanding sound and has been shaking up the entertainment business on their own, with an upcoming recording session in Clarksville, Tennessee in November."
The October 19th concert begins at 5:30 with The Boys of Broad, followed by Marty Brown at 7:00 p.m. It will be on the Clarence and Brenda Brewer Stage in downtown Central City. Fans will need to bring their lawn chairs for seating.
Concessions will be available and area restaurants will be open. The venue is being sponsored by the Rock & Roll Festival Committee in conjunction with the City of Central City. There will be no admission charge and fans may bring their lawn chairs to the stage area anytime Saturday.
On a personal note, Sweatt added, "I love Marty's songs. He's best when it's just him and his guitar, singing the songs he has written from his heart. Sometimes you can see him almost tear up, because each song is so personal and comes from his life. He's not afraid to bare his soul on the stage. I like that."
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