About Marty Robbins
Musician, Songwriter, Actor, NASCAR driver
Martin David Robinson (September 26, 1925 - December 8, 1982) was an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
One of the most popular and successful American country and western singers of his era, Marty Robbins' songs were often eclectic, touching notably on an array of world music. For most of his nearly four decade career, Robbins was rarely far from the country music charts, and several of his songs also became pop hits.
Robbins was born in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona. He was reared in a difficult family situation. His father took odd jobs to support the family of ten children. His father's drinking led to divorce in 1937. Among his warmer memories of his childhood, Robbins recalled having listened to stories of the American West told by his maternal grandfather, Texas Bob Heckle, a former Texas Ranger and medicine show performer.
Robbins left the troubled home at the age of seventeen to serve in the United States Navy as an LCT coxswain during World War II. He was stationed in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. To pass the time during the war, he learned to play the guitar, started writing songs, and came to love Hawaiian music.
After his discharge from the military in 1945, he began to play at local venues in Phoenix, then moved on to host his own radio station show on KTYL. He thereafter had his own television (TV) show on KPHO in Phoenix. After Little Jimmy Dickens made a guest appearance on Robbins' TV show, Dickens got Robbins a record deal with Columbia Records. Robbins became an immensely popular singing star at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. He was especially known for his kindness toward his many fans.
In addition to his recordings and performances, Robbins was an avid race car driver, competing in NASCAR races, including the Daytona 500. In 1967, Robbins played himself in the car racing film Hell on Wheels.
In 1948, Robbins married the former Marizona Baldwin (September 11, 1930 - July 10, 2001) to whom he dedicated his song My Woman, My Woman, My Wife. They had two children, a son, Ronny (born 1949), and a daughter, Janet, (born 1959). (Janet Robbins would go on to become a singer herself.)
Robbins died of complications following cardiac surgery. At the times of their deaths, Marty and Marizona lived in Brentwood in Williamson County, outside Nashville. They are interred in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville.
His musical accomplishments include the first Grammy Award ever awarded for a country song, for his 1959 hit and signature song "El Paso", taken from his album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. "El Paso" was also the first song to hit #1 on the pop chart in the 1960s. He won the Grammy Award for the Best Country & Western Recording 1961, for his follow-up album More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, and was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Country Song in 1970, for "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife." Robbins was named "Artist of the Decade" (1960-69) by the Academy of Country Music, was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982, and was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998 for his song "El Paso".
Robbins was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975. For his contribution to the recording industry, Robbins has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6666 Hollywood Blvd.
- "Just a Little Sentimental" (1951)
- "I'll Go On Alone" (1953)
- "That's All Right Mama" (1954)
- "Singing the Blues" (1956)
- "Carl, Lefty, and Marty" (1956)
- "Rock'n Roll'n Robbins" (1956)
- "The Song of Robbins" (April 29, 1957)
- "A White Sport Coat" (1957)
- "The Story of My Life" (1957)
- "Song Of the Islands" (December 30, 1957)
- "Marty Robbins" (December 20, 1958)
- "The Hanging Tree" (1959)
- "El Paso" (1959)
- "Big Iron" (1960)
- "Ballad of the Alamo" (1960)
- "Don't Worry" (1961)
- "It's Your World" (1961)
- "Devil Woman" (1962)
- "Ruby Ann" (1962)
- "Begging to You" (1964)
- "Cowboy in the Continental Suit" (1964)
- "Ribbon of Darkness" (1965)
- "Tonight Carmen" (1967)
- "I Walk Alone" (1968)
- "You Gave Me a Mountain" (1969)
- "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife" (1970)
- "Walking Piece of Heaven" (1973)
- "No Signs of Loneliness Here"*(1975) rare album of covers
- "El Paso City" (1976)
- "Among My Souvenirs" (1976)
- "Return to Me" (1978)
- "Some Memories Just Won't Die" (1982)
- "The Strawberry Roan"
- "A Hundred And Sixty Acres"
- "They're Hanging Me Tonight"
- "Cool Water"
- "Billy The Kid"
- "Utah Carol"
- "The Master's Call"
- "Running Gun"
- "In The Valley"
- "The Little Green Valley"
- "The Hanging Tree"
- "Saddle Tramp"
- "I Hang My Head and Cry"
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