Arizona born Marty Robbins, real name Martin David Robinson, surpassed many peers by being a prolific chart topper in his 57-year life.

The son of a harmonica player owed much of his story telling to his grandpa 'Texas Bob Heckle' - a travelling medicine man.

Born, near Glendale, he did a three-year stint in the Navy before singing for his supper in Phoenix while working in the day as a truck driver and in construction and well drilling.

Robbins' career began as a Gene Autry protégé in 1950 when he appeared on local radio and hosted his own TV show Western Caravan.

His vocal prowess and movie roles inspired generations of stars after he debuted in 1952 with Love Me Or Leave Me Alone.

Robbins smooth vocal style, much imitated by many younger protégées, enabled him to top both the country and pop charts in the fifties and sixties.

Singing The Blues, White Sport Coat, The Story Of My Life, She Was Only 17 and latter day smashes Don't Worry, El Paso, Devil Woman, Big Iron and My Woman, My Woman, My Wife ensured his longevity.


Marty also expanded his profile with diverse acting roles.

They included Badge of Marshall Brennan in 1957 - it starred Jim Davis and featuring Marty.

Raiders of Old California - 1957 - starring Jim Davis, Arleen Whelan, Faron Young and co-starring Marty Robbins, Lee Van Cleef.

Buffalo Gun - 1958 - Also starring Webb Pierce and Carl Smith. Features The Same Two Lips and Clementine.

Country Music Jubilee - 1960 - also starring Ernest Tubb, Carl Smith, Faron Young, Ray Price, and Hawkshaw Hawkins.

Ballad of a Gunfighter - 1963 - Featuring the song, San Angelo.

Country Music Caravan - 1964 - Also starring Jim Reeves, Carl Smith, Faron Young, Ernest Tubb, and Ray Price.

Tennessee Jamboree - 1964 - Also starring Jim Reeves, Webb Pierce, and Carl Smith.

Hell on Wheels - 1967 - Songs by Marty include No Tears Milady, The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot, Fly Butterfly Fly, This Song, Darling Would You Take Me Back Again and I'll Have To Make Some Changes.

From Nashville With Music - 1969 - It stars Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, and Carl Smith. Marty performs Tonight Carmen, The Shoe Goes On the Other Foot Tonight and Singing the Blues.

Guns of a Stranger - 1972 - Songs include The Drifter, The Dreamer, Restless Cattle, Lonely Old Bunkhouse, The Wind Goes, Oh Virginia and Mr. Rutledge.

Country Music - 1972 - also features Sammy Jackson, Barbara Mandrell, Dottie West, Carl Smith, Don Winters, Bobby Sykes, Bobby Allison, and Richard Petty. Marty plays himself.
Songs by Marty include, El Paso, My Woman, My Woman, My Wife, Don't Worry, Devil Woman, Washed My Hands in Muddy Water, The Best Part of Living is Loving You, The Hand's You're Holding Now, Begging To You, and They'll Never Take Her Love From Me.

Honkytonk Man - 1982 - Starring Clint Eastwood and Kyle Eastwood. Marty has a cameo appearance and sings the title song.

He also appeared in The Road To Nashville and the ABC TV telemovie The Drifter.


Marty won mainstream airplay in four decades from the fifties and made three Australian tours including a national foray with Saltbush in February-March 1977.

He also flew to Australia for exclusive gigs at the Mooroopna Country Music Festival in the Goulburn Valley dairy and citrus belt in Victoria on November 2 and 3, 1974.

When I last interviewed Marty for the Sydney Daily Mirror in 1981 he joked about his return to racecar driving despite a heart attack.

But it wasn't the stresses of driving that killed him - he was a workaholic.



Marty Robbins At Town Hall Party (Umbrella-AV Channel) embraces early success with music ranging from pop, country and Hawaiian songs to western.

The concerts on February 2 and October 3, 1959, open with I Can't Quit and a medley before smashes - A White Sport Coat, The Story Of My Life and Just Married.

These interviews are quaint period pieces and the live segment features chart toppers The Hanging Tree, Stairway Of Love, Nothing But Sweet Lies and Joe Hudgins (Where Did You Stay Last Night.)

Ironically Marty's final Top 10 hit was Some Memories Won't Die shortly before his death from a heart attack on December 8, 1982.

The singer, regular Grand Ole Opry artist, was the last to appear at the Ryman before the historic show was moved to Opryland.

The Robbins legend has lived on down the later decades.

Wife Marizona, son Ronnie Robbins and daughter Janet survived the celebrated
singing actor.

Ronnie, better known as a songwriter, also recorded original songs for Columbia and Epic and Janet pursued a musical career with several albums including 1998 CD All The World.

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