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Marty Stuart Remembers Keith.

I met Keith in 1971 when he and Ricky Skaggs were playing music with Ralph Stanley. I knew when I heard them sing that they were destined to be great. One year later, I got a job with Lester Flatt and I joined the circuit. I introduced myself to Keith again. We became buddies, later friends, and to this day- I still consider Keith one of my favorite people that I ever played music with.

We always bragged on each others guitars, girls, clothes and such. One night at a banquet in Nashville, he showed up wearing a black coat with roses on the lapels. I told him that right then and there we ought to trade coats. We had a laugh and went on about our business. But, everytime that I saw him after that, I'd ask him, "How's my coat doing?"

I got to thinking about that coat not too long ago, so I called Lorrie and asked her if I could borrow it, if she still had it, bacause I wanted to take it to Manuel to have him make me a copy. She said that she would try to find it. Before I could get back to her, we were at the CMA Awards and my manager told me that I had a press conference to go to. When I got there, nobody would say a word. All of a sudden, everybody was taking a picture (I thought). Lorrie was sneaking up behind me with the coat in her arms. She gave it to me (it also happened to be my birthday), I put it on and it fit perfect. Needless to say, I was completely overwhelmed- I felt a whole lot of love in that gesture. I hope all of you know how much I'll care for it and wear my friends with pride.

And I love all of you for keeping Keith Whitley's music going strong.

-Marty Stuart.