Very simple song. God is asleep, before Creation [...] and gets the whim to wake, and decides it could be worth going through it all in order to be able to hear some music, and most of all, one of his best creations, Marty Robbins.—Pete Townshend, explaining the song "God Speaks of Marty Robbins"
Born 1925 in Glendale, Arizona, Marty Robbins is one of the more diverse Country Music artists. After working on his older brother's ranch in Phoenix, living as a hobo, serving in the Navy and teaching himself to play guitar. With some performances under his belt in the late 1940s, he finally signed to Columbia Records in 1951. Although his first two singles tanked, "Love Me or Leave Me Alone" went to number one and started a string of varied singles that lasted until his death in 1982.
Although his sound wasn't always mainsteam, it was often innovative. Songs such as "El Paso" and "Big Iron" were known for their strong Western gunfighter imagery; "Devil Woman" had strong calypso overtones; "Don't Worry" was the first country song to use guitar distortion; and so on. Robbins' vocal was more croon than twang, but he is still one of the most prominent singers in the genre.
- Concept Album: Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs was an early example in the genre. "Early" defined here as 1959.
- Last Kiss: The end of "El Paso" features one between the dying male character and his lover.
- Quick Draw: The subject of "Big Iron".
- Signature Song: "El Paso" definitely. More subjective examples include "Big Iron", "Devil Woman", "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation" and "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife".