The Cowboy in Country Music: Marty Robbins

There are three trails leading into the town called “Western Music.” The first is that of the songs of the old- time cowboys from the 1800s, which were mostly derived from British folk songs; the second is the songs for the singing cowboys in the movies, like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, which were mostly pop songs with lyrics about the West written by the pop songwriters who wrote for Broadway and the movies; and the third trail is that of country music, which has used the cowboy and the West to define a visual image of a country singer as well as reflect the fact that it was once known as “country and western” music.

The music of Marty Robbins reflects all three of those trails. He grew up in the West and that heritage was deep inside him. His first musical hero was Gene Autry, and the singing cowboys had a huge influence on his life. He spent his life in country music with a career based out of Nashville. Martin David Robinson and his twin sister, Mamie, were born near Glendale, Arizona, on September 26, 1925.

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