Thursday, April 29, 2010

Forgotten Music: Marty Robbins' El Paso Trilogy

Everyone's heard Marty Robbins' 1959 hit "El Paso" (I hope) about the young cowboy who kills another in Rose's Cantina for love of a dancer named Feleena - and ends up with a bullet in his chest. But far fewer have heard Marty's two sequels.

"Feleena" (1966) tells the tale from the dancer's point of view. This one is an eight minute epic that follows Feleena from the time she leaves home to seek adventure to the aftermath of the young cowboy's death.

And "El Paso City" (1976) brings the story into the present, where the singer looks down on the town from an airplane, wondering if he himself was that cowboy in an earlier life.

For the ultimate Marty Robbins experience, you might want to check out this four-disc, 97-song CD set, containing dang near every cowboy ballad he recorded between 1958 and 1979. A boxful of cowboy heaven. Don't have 90 or more bucks to blow? Do what I did - ask your local library to buy it.

More of today's Forgotten Music:
Scott Parker: Diana Krall's The Girl in the Other Room
Paul D. Brazill: BASZCAX
Bill Crider: 50s Pop
Martin Edwards: On the Flip Side
Randy Johnson: Showdown! - Collins, Cray, Copeland
George Kelley: The T.A.M.I. Show
Perplexio: Harry Chapin - Short Stories
Charlie Ricci: Stevie Wonder - Where I'm Coming From
Todd Mason: The Max Roach Group - Freedom Now Suite

Got Forgotten Music of your own? Join us the last Thursday of each month!


Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

"I don't recall who sang the song but I recall the story that I heard..."

Solid country gold. Thanks for bringing up this wonderful memory!

Richard R. said...

97 songs sung by Marty Robbins? Yikes!

Evan Lewis said...

And that's only his cowboy stuff. There's a whole 'nother boxed set full of other stuff.

Paul D Brazill said...

Great post. I'm a big fan of El Paso but didn't realise that there were sequals!

George said...

This sure brings back a ton of memories!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I spent most of my childhood watching westerns so that brings back memories.

Evan Lewis said...

No wonder you grew up right, Patti. Those western morality plays were great life lessons.

Scott D. Parker said...

I am so forwarding this link to a friend of mine who loves cowboy songs and ballads. Yes, I know "El Paso" but didn't realize he wrote/sang sequel songs. Thanks. And, while my two local libraries don't have the boxed set, they do have quite a number of Robbins CDs.

Evan Lewis said...

Hey, my library didn't have that set either, but after I requested it they bought six copies. Must have caught them during a budget surplus.

Unknown said...

I remember all of these. Great stuff.

Evan Lewis said...

I hope you remember them, Bill! You got them on an Owlhoot CD just a few years ago.

Kenneth Mark Hoover said...

I love these songs, too. Awesome stuff!

Ann Littlewood said...

Marty is SO underrated--great voice. He did some wonderful songs, way more than El Paso. Thanks for highlighting him!