Country music legend Marty Stuart is still working to open the doors of his Congress of Country Music in Philadelphia this calendar year.
According to Stuart, the $30 million project will help round out Mississippi’s tribute to music as a whole.
“If you look at the state, the spiritual home of rock ‘n’ roll is Tupelo as it’s Elvis’ birthplace. The spiritual home of the blues is B.B. King’s place (in Indianola). The GRAMMY Museum is now on the campus of Delta State. Meridian has the MAX, but we don’t have a spiritual home for country music so that’s what we’re working in Philadelphia,” he explained.
In phase one of the three-phase project, which is set to be completed by September 2022, the historic Ellis Theater will be renovated and turned into a 500-seat venue for concerts and other events.
“This has been Marty’s vision for several years,” Representative Scott Bounds of Philadelphia said. “It will be a place that we cannot only host and have community events, but also with Marty’s extensive networking of country music performers, we can bring them to Philadelphia.”
The second phase will consist of the construction of the museum portion of Stuart’s Congress of Country Music, and according to the Grammy-winning artist, it’s going to be a museum like no other.
“To begin with, I have Johnny Cash’s first black performance suit, a lot of Hank Williams’ handwritten lyrics, his guitar, one of Jimmie Rodgers’ guitars, the briefcase that was in Jimmie Rodgers’ casket when they brought his body home from New York City to Meridian,” Stuart said of what the museum is going to feature. “There’s going to be 20,000 items of that caliber in there.”
The third and final phase is going to tie in the educational facility, which will offer programs similar to those of the Grammy Museum Mississippi. For more information on the Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music, click here.