1925 - 1982
Born in Glendale, Arizona, Marty grew up around music. His father played harmonica and his grandfather (who used to travel with a medicine show) taught young Marty how to sing old cowboy songs while telling him tales of the old west.
Marty began singing in public, and actually started making a buck in Phoenix clubs. This lead him to regular appearances on the local TV and radio stations. It was during once of these performances that Little Jimmy Dickens heard and met Marty. Dickens was so impressed with the youngster's talent and repertoire of cowboy songs that he went back to his label (Columbia) and urged them to bring this kid on board. Columbia took Dickens advise, and in the spring of 1953 they released the tune "I'll Go On Alone". After that Marty scored hit after hit on both pop and country charts. Some of the best known are "White Sports Coat", "Devil Woman", and of course "El Paso".
Marty Robbins' "El Paso" was the
first country song ever to win a Grammy Award. "I always wanted to write a
song about El Paso" He said, "Because traditionally that is where the
West begins". He also holds the unique distinction of being the last person
to perform at the Grand Ole Opry's former home (The Ryman Auditorium), and the
first to play at the new home Opryland!
Marty once said "Had I been born a little sooner, the cowboy life is the kind of life I'd have liked to have lived". Although he didn't actually live the cowboy life, he painted a musical picture of it that was and is lived by the fans and listeners of his music.
Marty Robbins passed away December 8th, 1982.
© 1999 Eddie Bear Productions