Ode to Marty Stuart and Connie Smith: Top 10 songs fer gettin' hitched

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Had my father truly loved me, he would have forced Davy Jones to marry me at gunpoint.
Today, I've got love on my mind. Is it because I've been invited to a wedding every goddamned weekend the month of July, and so love has been striking in the form of RSVP cards, Target gift registries, sweaty brides and even sweatier grooms, uncles drunk on keg beer and aunts doing the chicken dance? Much as I tear up when weepy dads give their daughters away, this ain't why my heart feels a-flutter.

It's because I'm a dork, and my second favorite country music couple, Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, are celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary today. What is it about Marty and Connie that endears me so?

The pair met when little Marty was 12 years old and a budding mandolin player. Connie, 17 whole years his senior, was his mother's favorite singer and had a record of hers at their house - Miss Smith Goes to Nashville. Seeing her image on this record, young Marty fell in love with Connie, then in her late 20s and enjoying a successful career.

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When Connie was to play in their hometown, Marty had his mother buy him a bright yellow shirt so she would notice him. After the show, he got her autograph and proclaimed to his mother that he would marry her someday and 26 years later, he did, in a quiet ceremony in the 96-degree heat on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Supposedly they were told that if they saw an eagle on the day they were married, it would be a successful union. Sure enough, they saw one fly overhead as they drove to the ceremony. After, they drove their rental car out into the wilderness and danced on a cliff to Buck Owens' "Your Tender Loving Care."

Cheesy as all hell, I know.

As I wipe away this tear, I dedicate this to you, Connie and Marty, on your 13th wedding anniversary. I also dedicate it to all of you, the scores of people getting hitched this month. May you get every last Egyptian cotton towel requested on your Target gift registry. The Top 10 wedding songs to take you from the walk down the aisle to the last drunken chicken dance.

"Your Tender Loving Care" - Buck Owens


96-degree heat? Not so much. But Connie and Marty got this part right.

"You Belong to Me" - Pee Wee King & the Golden West Cowboys

Patsy does a nice version, too.



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