1980sAustinAustin City LimitsCountry MusicMusicMusic ConcertsPBS

Music – 1980 – Marty Robbins – El Paso – Sung Live At Austin City Limits

El Paso is a country and western ballad….which was written and originally recorded by Marty Robbins….and first released on Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs in September 1959…..then It was released as a single the following month….and became a major hit on both the country and pop music charts….after reaching # 1 in both….at the start of 1960. …after which It won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1961….and El Paso remains Robbins’ best-known song. It is widely considered a genre classic for its gripping narrative which ends in the death of its protagonist, its shift from past to present tense….along with haunting harmonies by vocalists Bobby Sykes and Jim Glaser (of the Glaser Brothers)….and the eloquent and varied Spanish guitar accompaniment by Grady Martin that lends the recording a distinctive Tex-Mex feel…..plus, the name of the character Feleena was based upon a schoolmate of Robbins in the fifth grade named Fidelina Martinez.

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