"I feel like I am putting a star back up in the sky. That's where you belong." - Shirley Brown (wife of Marty Brown)
Marty Brown of Franklin, Kentucky (formerly of Maceo) was on America's Got Talent 2013 - San Antonio Auditions the other night and impressed the panel with his take on a Bob Dylan classic, To Make You Feel My Love. Howard Stern called him a "great, undiscovered talent," but he isn't exactly undiscovered. Around 1990, Brown recorded a demo tape and hitchhiked to Nashville, where he was profiled on the news magazine 48 Hours and in 1991, secured a contract with MCA. Brown released three albums for MCA: High and Dry (1991), Wild Kentucky Skies (1993) and Cryin', Lovin', Leavin' (1994).
Though he never had what you might call a 'substantial hit,' Marty Brown won a devoted following among hardcore country fans thanks to his twangy, classic-style honky tonk and a nasal delivery straight from the hills of Kentucky. Although all three albums received critical acclaim for his traditional style and solid songwriting, Brown and MCA parted ways and he signed with the independent label Hightone and debuted for them in 1996 with Here's To The Honky Tonk. Brown also co-wrote Tracy Byrd's "I'm From The Country" and "The Hits" for Perfect Stranger.
I loved Marty Brown's style and was always more than happy to play his songs on the radio. But, unfortunately, as country music became more pop-oriented, Marty Brown disappeared from the limelight and his career just faded away. In subsequent years, Brown's name occasionally appeared in the local newspaper in unfortunate stories unrelated to his music. In 1997, he pleaded guilty in Indiana to a misdemeanor charge for taking an old engine block and selling it for scrap metal. He explained that he found the block in an alley. He was sentenced to one year's probation and ordered to pay $300 in restitution and perform 24 hours of community service. But, that was a long time ago and Marty Brown has paid his dues. His first time around as a bona fide country star didn't end up so well, not that it was his fault.
The show is called America's Got Talent and Marty Brown HAS talent. I believe in second chances and this is what America's Got Talent is all about for him. He wants this and I hope he makes it because he deserves it. I love how he sings and he writes great lyrics. Judging by country music's current state (the last two award shows were a joke), I am hoping country music fans might also believe in second chances and let Marty Brown back in.
I would love to hear him on the radio again, putting out the hits that he is capable of.
For me, the thing that stood out about Marty Brown's performance on the America's Got Talent - San Antonio Audition was his desire to be back on the big stage once again. You could see it in his performance. You could see it on his face. You could see it in his reaction of the panels' decision, and from his reaction to the audience's acceptance during and after his performance. It was emotional.
Following his audition, Marty's wife, Shirley, whose idea it was for Marty to audition for AGT, said to him: "I feel like I am putting a star back up in the sky. That's where you belong."
I agree. That is where he belongs.
Good luck, Marty Brown, in your next appearance on America's Got Talent from Las Vegas.
I hope you make it!