LifeNotes: Music Industry Security Director Rusty Martin Passes

Rusty Martin. Photo:

Rusty Martin. Photo:

ASCAP security director and former Mississippi highway patrolman Roy L. “Rusty” Martin passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, July 30. He was 62 years old.

A native of Cleveland, Mississippi, his experience in law enforcement set him on a path in the music industry where he provided security services to Arista Records in the 1990s, under the direction of Tim DuBois, and subsequently in similar roles at RCA Label Group and most recently at ASCAP.

Martin’s main responsibility may have been security, but his cheerful personality and warm persona greeted guests and employees with such sincere interest, the security he provided went way beyond the gun in his holster. Absent of any agenda, Martin was always interested in other peoples’ lives, their families, triumphs and trials. He often served as advocate and cheerleader for everyone he knew which was one of his most endearing traits.

He had a boundless passion and love of country music which equally matched both his love of people and his prior experience in law enforcement. As evidenced by the many comments on social media after hearing of his passing, friends will remember Martin as someone who took the time to become personally invested in people.

Tim DuBois shared via Facebook, “Rusty was an amazing friend to all of us. He was always there to greet us with a smile, and we always knew we were safe when he was around. We all loved this man and knew he loved us right back.”

Rusty Martin and his late wife of 28 years, Becky, were the inspiration of Kenny Chesney‘s No. 1 hit “The Good Stuff,” after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and courageously fought her illness until her death in 2000.

“Becky was just a mother and a best friend, and she always had something positive to say about somebody,” Martin told CMT in 2002. “We were so blessed in a bad situation, because she was home and we were all around the bed holding hands until the last breath was taken.” He shared that experience with songwriters Jim Collins and Craig Wiseman and the tale inspired the tunesmiths to pen “The Good Stuff” which became the second single from Kenny Chesney’s album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.

Love you my brother.

Arrangements are as follows;

Visitation: Tuesday, August 2,  5:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. CST
Funeral Service: Wednesday, August 3, at 1:00 p.m. CST
The family will also receive visitors Wednesday morning up until the time of the service.

Booneville Funeral Home
506 N 3rd Street
Booneville, MS 38829
(662) 728-6607

The Rusty Martin Memorial Fund has been established at Avenue Bank to help cover funeral expenses and will be managed by Rusty’s 3 children, Shane, Shannon & Jason.

Anyone desiring to make a donation can stop by any Avenue Bank branch and make a contribution to the account titled: Rusty Martin Memorial Fund.

If you live out of state or prefer to mail in a contribution, you can send a check to;

Avenue Bank
Attention: Ron Cox
209 Tenth Avenue South, Suite 250
Nashville, TN 37203


Rusty Martin. Photo:

Rusty Martin. Photo:


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Sherod Robertson is President and Owner of MusicRow Enterprises. He oversees all operations and develops strategic initiatives for MusicRow magazine, RowFax, and MusicRow's CountryBreakout chart. Robertson previously served as Director of Finance of Arista Records after beginning his career as Vice President of Finance and CFO at Reunion Records.

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