Marty Robbins was a successful Western and country music songwriter and musician. He recorded 60 albums and over 500 songs in his lifetime, won two Grammy awards, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame for his popular songs.
One of nine children, Marty was born in Glendale, Arizona on September 26, 1925. Marty Robbins’ father played the harmonica, but he learned how to tell Western stories from his talented grandfather. As a young boy, Marty Robbins would earn money by picking cotton before school so he could see his idol, Gene Autry the “singing cowboy” at the movies.
Marty Robbins moved to Pheonix at the age of 12 after his parents divorced and later dropped out of school, working with his brothers in the mountains. He enlisted in the US Army and served duty during World War II. He learned how to play the guitar in order to serve as a distraction to the horrors of the war. It was during this time that he also began to write songs, inspired by his idol Gene Autry and his grandfather. By the time he came back to civilian life in 1946, he had his heart set on a music career.
Marty Robbins began singing in local bars and clubs while working as a construction worker during the days. One day he decided he was better than the music being played on the radio, drove down to the station KPHO and earned a spot on the show. He got his own radio show called “Chuck Wagon Time” and in 1951 he also had his own television show “Western Caravan” on a local channel.
A Columbia Records scout saw Marty Robbins’ live television show and signed him to the record company. His first few singles were not very successful, until in 1953 when he released “I’ll Go On Alone” and later, “I Couldn’t Keep From Crying.” Soon he would be a regular on the popular country music show The Grand Ole Opry, performing live weekly in Nashville.
Marty Robbins had his first number 1 hit song in 1956 called “Singing the Blues,” followed by many more. In 1959 he released a popular album called Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs which featured great hits “El Paso” and “Big Iron.” His hit “El Paso” also won a Grammy Award in the Best Country and Western Recording category that year.
Marty Robbins continued to write wildly successful songs through the 1960s and perform alongside other popular country singers on The Grand Ole Opry show. He won a second Grammy Award for his 1969 hit single “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife.” In 1975, he earned a spot in the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Marty Robbins married Marizona Baldwin Robbins in 1948 and had two children. He continued to write and perform songs until he died at the age of 57 passing away on December 8, 1982. Earlier that year he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. His last recorded song was appropriately called, “Some Memories Won’t Die.”