If you were to ever get the opportunity to see inside the tour bus for country music legend Marty Stuart, you would discover that the television set is always tuned to the same channel – Turner Classic Movies (or TCM). The Grammy-winning Stuart is such a fan of movies that he is one of the cable channel’s biggest fans.

He’s also a contributor. Stuart has joined TCM host Alicia Malone for “There’s No Place Like Hometowns,” a series of films that spotlight the impact of a person’s hometown. The May 19 lineup includes “Brother Orchid” at 8 p.m., “Cool Hand Luke” at 9:45 p.m. and “Hoosiers” and midnight. Stuart was involved with every aspect of selecting the lineup for his appearance.

Signing on for the TCM production was an easy decision for Stuart.

“I have always been a film buff,” Stuart says through a Zoom interview from his bus. “I think I really went into the deep part of the water probably 10 years ago. I love the art of film. I love cinematography and costuming and makeup and lighting.

“It matters to me. I play a better show and write a better song when I have been inspired by it. I don’t care what Hollywood is doing, Turner Classic Movies is still the coolest game in town.”

Turner Classic Movies has been his chief educational tool as he passes the long hours going from tour stop to tour stop. Even when the sound has been turned down, Stuart can enjoy the look of the productions. He considers the channel to be both entertaining and educational.

“What Turner Classic Movies represents is kind of a parallel universe to what me and my band, the Superlatives, try to do for traditional country music,” Stuart says. “They try to put an entirely different spin on the entire universe of film and that is what we are trying to do for country music.”

The connection is natural for the musician. He knows that just like a great song or tour performance, a movie only works when all the pieces come together. If one part isn’t right, the film or the concert stop ends up out of harmony.

Stuart knows this both as a fan and a participant as he wrote the scores for the films “All the Pretty Horses,” “Daddy and Them” and “Waking Up in Reno.”

“What I learned scoring the films was that every bar, every beat, every note matters,” Stuart says. “What I found is that with a 30 second music cue along with a scene – if it is right – it goes by in a split second. If it is wrong, 30 seconds can seem like five hours.”

This goes along with a musical career that started in 1968 when he toured with Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash. His solo career has included more than 20 studio albums with songs such as “The Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” and “Burn Me Down” topping the music charts. Stuart is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.

Stuart – whose hometown is Philadelphia, MS – has seen hundreds of hometowns through his tours. Those stops were the inspiration for the lineup that Stuart and Malone discuss in detail before and after each feature.

The hometown angle matches perfectly with Stuart’s initiative called Honor Your Hometowns, which he started with Ken Burns. The all-volunteer program stresses the importance of staying connected with your hometown roots.

When Stuart gets back to his hometown, he is not a country superstar but is known locally as “John and Hilda’s boy.” His trips have become more frequent after establishing the Congress of Country Music there. It is a home for country music where music legends and new converts come together.

Stuart remains very active with his Mississippi hometown but because of his touring schedule, he gets to adopt new hometowns on a regular basis. His travels have brought him to Bakersfield including performances at the Crystal Palace.

Plus, Stuart and Bakersfield native son Merle Haggard became friends decades ago. Both have contributed to his deep knowledge of the city and the Bakersfield sound.

“Merle was one of my dearest friends and my professor,” Stuart says. “To go back to the ground floor of Bakersfield, I go back to the labor camps and the Dust Bowl days.

“The music and the cultures that collided at those labor camps in the San Joaquin Valley was folk music, country, hillbilly stuff and then the south of the border flavor that found its way into it. To understand the foundation of the Bakersfield sound you have to point to what went on around those campfires in the labor camps.”

Stuart stresses that he has a big spot in his heart for Bakersfield.