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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 a few dollars in Phoenix clubs. This lead him to regular appearances on the local TV and radio stations. It was during one of these performances that Little Jimmy Dickens heard and met Marty. Jimmy 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 Robbins passed away December 8th, 1982