Dierks, Marty Stuart Await Don Imus' Return to Radio

Posted by amyclark on 08/17/2008

9/12/2007 Stephen L Betts When Marty Stuart set out to promote his latest album, Compadres: An Anthology of Duets, his plan was for a week’s worth of appearances on the nationally syndicated radio and simulcast TV talk show Imus in the Morning. “The idea was for us to be the house band for the week,” Marty tells the Washington Post. “We'd have different guests on every day, doing duets. Don Imus was totally open to that. It would have been wonderful.” Except that it never happened, since the host landed in some very hot water in April with racially and sexually insensitive remarks about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. The show's cancellation by CBS Radio and MSNBC didn't just leave a gaping hole on Marty’s promotional calendar, “it also sent a shock wave through Nashville, which had come to embrace the curmudgeonly, combative radio host as an influential champion of country music,” says the Post article. Just as Don Imus was known for helping authors sell books, the Stetson-wearing shock jock helped country musicians sell music. “He definitely moved product,” says Dierks Bentley, an Imus favorite. Vince Gill claims his recent four-CD set (and CMA nominee), These Days, went platinum for exactly two reasons: “Critical acclaim and Don Imus.” “Country music really lost a friend when Imus lost his show,” says Marty Stuart. “I was really, really sad.” While negotiations for a new radio deal for Don Imus are underway with an unnamed outlet, Imus favorites such as Brad Paisley, Big & Rich, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, and Dierks Bentley are waiting to see what happens. “When Imus gets behind something, he really gets behind it,” says Dierks. “Long before I went on the show, he was a huge supporter of mine. He was talking about my music for a year, even though nobody had asked him to.” When asked if he’d accept an invitation to appear on Don Imus’ show once he returns to radio, Dierks says, “I would. It's not a cop-out when I say that everything I do revolves around getting the songs that I wrote heard by as many people as possible. I sing songs - and if you're into what I do and want to support it, let's talk.” Marty Stuart would accept the invitation as well. “That whole situation was so unfortunate,” Marty says of the controversy. “Imus is my friend. And if he wants my music on his show, all he has to do is call me and I'd be glad to come on. Absolutely.”