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Subject: Archive: Marty Robbins, Dec. 8, 1982

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Date Posted: Friday, December 08, 04:13:41pm

The country singer Marty Robbins, whose song ''El Paso'' won the first Grammy Award for best country and western song in 1960, died at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville late Wednesday night six days after a heart attack. He was 57 years old and was a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

The heart attack was the third suffered in 13 years by Mr. Robbins, who underwent quadruple coronary bypass surgery after last Thursday's attack.

Mr. Robbins's music straddled country and pop ballad styles and often had a hint of Mexican mariachi music. He recorded nearly 70 albums and had 18 No. 1 country hits, 12 of which he wrote himself. Both ''El Paso,'' about a cowboy who dies after a barroom shootout, and ''A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation'' sold more than a million copies.

Mr. Robbins won a second Grammy award in 1970 for writing ''My Woman, My Woman, My Wife.'' He also appeared in 15 films and was one of the first country musicians to perform in Las Vegas. Musical Start in Navy

Mr. Robbins was born in 1925 in Glendale, Ariz., and later moved with his family to Phoenix. He enlisted in the Navy when he was 19 years old. While stationed in the Pacific during his three years in the service he began to play guitar and write songs. Back in Phoenix, he was working as a ditchdigger when he started sitting in with a local country band. Eventually, he formed his own group.

In the early 1950's, Mr. Robbins had his own radio show and a weekly local television program, ''Western Caravan,'' in Phoenix. He was also a frequent guest on broadcasts from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and became a regular Opry member in 1953, the same year he had his first No. 1 country hit with ''Singin' the Blues.''

Through the 1970's, Mr. Robbins was a consistent country music hitmaker, with 43 songs in the country music 10 including ''Tonight Carmen,'' ''Devil Woman'' and ''Teen-age Dream.'' He had a syndicated country music television program, ''Marty Robbins's Spotlight,'' in the late 70's.

Mr. Robbins was named Man of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music in 1970 and was elected to the Nashville Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1975. The National Cowboy Hall of Fame gave him its Golden Trustee Award for his many gunfighter ballads in 1979, and earlier this year he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Leading Stock-Car Racer

Mr. Robbins was also a dedicated stock-car racer, who reached the Grand National Circuit in 1968 and usually ranked among the top 10 drivers on that circuit. He survived numerous racing accidents, including one in 1972, when he emerged unhurt from a 150-mile-an-hour crash at the Daytona 500.

Mr. Robbins's most recent projects included a performance at the White House on July 4, 1981, with Frank Sinatra; his current album, ''Come Back to Me''; an appearance in the upcoming Clint Eastwood film, ''Honky Tonk Man,'' and his regular spot on the Grand Ole Opry, where he had been scheduled to perform last Saturday.

''I'm in this business,'' he once said, ''because I despise honest labor.'' He is survived by his wife, Marizona, and their son, Ronnie, and daughter, Janet.

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"A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)"Marty RobbinsFriday, December 08, 04:14:59pm
Sadly, Marty Robbins was last header pic that our Barbara posted on her board. (NT)You're missed, Babs!Friday, December 08, 09:07:14pm

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