Great Talent Gone Before His Time
The world lost a great talent far too soon when Marty Robbins passed away on December 8, 1982, at the age of 57.
Robbins had just wrapped up filming on the Clint Eastwood film Honkytonk Man when he passed away following complications from heart surgery.
The singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and race car driver had experienced heart troubles for some time, suffering a total of three heart attacks in 13 years.
Over the course of his career, Robbins had more than his fair share of chart-topping country hits. In addition, many of his songs crossed over on to the pop charts and experienced great success there.
It seems the best way to honor and remember Robbins is by looking back on some of his greatest works. So as a tribute to him, we’ve gathered up a few of his biggest hits for you to enjoy. Head below to start your walk down memory lane.
1. “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife”
In 1970, Robbins released “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife” as the first single from his album of the same title. The song was written by Robbins himself, and went on to become a number one hit on the country charts. The song only held the number one spot for a week, but remained on the charts for 15 weeks total.
Although not a number one crossover hit, “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife” still broke into the Top 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at the 42nd spot. The song was also a major success in Canada, where it hit number one on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart.
To add further to the list of things he accomplished with “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife,” Robbins took home a Grammy Award for it in 1971.
2. “I’ll Go On Alone”
Robbins’ first number one single, “I’ll Go On Alone” set him up for his successful career to follow. Another self-penned tune, “I’ll Go On Alone” hit number one on the country charts in 1952.
The song was so well-known that other artists rushed to record their own versions. Honky tonk artist Webb Pierce released his cover of “I’ll Go On Alone” in 1953, and he too was able to turn the song into a big hit, although his version only climbed as high as the fourth spot on the charts.
Country legend Ernest Tubb also recorded a rendition of “I’ll Go On Alone,” and included it on his 1969 album, Let’s Turn Back the Years. Of course, we feel that the best version of the song is Robbins’ original, and the numbers say the same thing!
3. “Devil Woman”
Robbins wrote and recorded “Devil Woman,” which was released as a single in 1962. It was his seventh single to ever reach the number on spot on the country chart, and it spent a total of eight weeks in that position. The song was also a major crossover success, and it peaked at the 16th spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
Six years later, American singer Trini Lopez recorded the song and included it on his album, Welcome to Trini Country. But the song really caught on with international artists, and many recorded versions of the song in their own languages.
For example, a Spanish version of the song called “Magia Blanca” was the first big hit for Spanish-Puerto Rican singer Chucho Avellanet. Versions of the song were also recorded in Serbian and Standard Chinese.
Robbins penned a song that resonated with audiences around the world, which is why it comes as no surprise that it is regarded as a country classic.
4. “El Paso”
Perhaps his most well-known song, “El Paso” was written by Robbins and released on his 1959 album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. Not only was “El Paso” a number one country hit, but a number one crossover hit as well, the first of Robbins’ singles to achieve such success on the pop charts.
In addition, “El Paso” went on earn a Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1961. The song was also named as one of the Top 100 Western Songs Of All Time by the Western Writers of America.
Due to the success of the song, Robbins went on to write two sequels to it, “Faleena (From El Paso)” and “El Paso City,” the latter of which was another number one country hit. But whenever you think of Robbins, it’s the original installment of “El Paso” that comes to mind.
Robbins had a remarkable impact on country music during his short time on this Earth. Every one of these songs serves as proof of that since they are still remembered and treasured by each new generation of country music fans.