Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Marty Robbins - Under Western Skies [1996] (4 x CDs)


Marty Robbins - Under Western Skies [1996] (4 x CDs)

Martin David Robinson (September 26, 1925 - December 8, 1982), known professionally as Marty Robbins, was an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and NASCAR racing driver. Robbins was one of the most popular and successful country and western singers for most of his nearly four-decade career, which spanned from the late 1940s to the early 1980s. He was also an early outlaw country pioneer.

Born in Glendale, Arizona, Robbins taught himself guitar while serving in the United States Navy during World War II, and subsequently drew fame performing in clubs in and around his hometown. In 1952, he released his first No. 1 country song, "I'll Go On Alone". Four years later, he released his second No.1 hit “Singing the Blues”, and one year later, released two more No. 1 hits, "A White Sport Coat" and "The Story of My Life". In 1959, Robbins released his signature song, "El Paso", for which he won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. The song began Robbins' association with western balladry, a style which would become a staple of his career. Later releases that drew critical acclaim include "Don't Worry", "Big Iron", “Devil Woman” and "Honkytonk Man", the last for which the 1982 Clint Eastwood film is named, and in which Robbins made his final appearance before his death.

Over the course of his career, Robbins recorded more than 500 songs and 60 albums, and won two Grammy Awards, was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and was named the 1960s Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music. His songs "El Paso" and "Big Iron" were ranked by the Western Writers of America among the Top 100 Western songs of all time. Robbins was a commercial success in both the country and pop genres, and his songs were covered by many other famous artists, including Johnny Cash, the Grateful Dead and Elvis Presley. Johnny Cash noted, "there's no greater country singer than Marty Robbins." His music continues to have an influence in pop culture today, featuring prominently in several films, television shows and video games. (Wikipedia)

Four CDs covering Marty Robbins' complete Western recordings, 97 songs in all from 1958 until 1979. As a concept, Under Western Skies is cohesive and enjoyable, largely because Robbins' music, regardless of the particular year in which it was recorded, is unified thematically. It's also a superb showcase for Robbins' voice, one of the most versatile in country & western -- he was equally adept at rock & roll, traditional country, or Western ballads dating back 100 years or more, but he had a way of extending the latter genre's melodic beauty and lyricism without ever seeming repetitive. Thus, it wasn't just that Robbins was covering this repertory, but that he was doing it in ways that, as a solo artist of his era, were just about definitive. Disc One contains songs from Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs and parts of the follow-up record, More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. Disc Two is devoted to songs from Return of the Gunfighter and the rest of More Gunfighter Ballads, filled out with songs that only appeared previously in 1984 on a Bear Family vinyl release. By the mid-'60s, Robbins' voice was even better, richer and more confident on this material, and Disc Three reflects this. Disc Four extends up through 1979, and it's something of a tribute to Robbins' success with this repertory that precious little was left in the vaults for Bear Family or anyone else to unearth and issue for the first time. The accompanying booklet is 60 pages long, and while it does seem as though the essay is not as well organized as it might have been, it's interesting overall, highlighted with excellent photographs and accompanied by lyrics to each of the songs and a full sessionography. (AMG review by Bruce Eder)






Track lists


01 Marty Robbins - El Paso (Long Version) 4:44

02 Marty Robbins - Cool Water 3:13

03 Marty Robbins - In The Valley 1:53

04 Marty Robbins - Running Gun 2:15

05 Marty Robbins - Big Iron 3:58

06 Marty Robbins - The Master's Call 3:11

07 Marty Robbins - The Little Green Valley 2:31

08 Marty Robbins - A Hundred And Sixty Acres 1:45

09 Marty Robbins - Billy The Kid 2:24

10 Marty Robbins - The Strawberry Roan 3:28

11 Marty Robbins - They´re Hanging Me Tonight 3:09

12 Marty Robbins - Utah Carol 3:17

13 Marty Robbins - Saddle Tramp 2:08

14 Marty Robbins - She Was Young And She Was Pretty 3:01

15 Marty Robbins - Streets Of Laredo 2:49

16 Marty Robbins - Little Joe, The Wrangler 4:11

17 Marty Robbins - I've Got No Use For The Women 3:24

18 Marty Robbins - Billy Venero 3:52

19 Marty Robbins - The Peaceful Sod 1:58

20 Marty Robbins - Five Brothers 2:15

21 Marty Robbins - San Angelo 5:44

22 Marty Robbins - Ballad Of The Alamo 3:43

23 Marty Robbins - The Hanging Tree 2:51


01 Marty Robbins - Jimmy Martinez 3:30

02 Marty Robbins - Ghost Train 3:11

03 Marty Robbins - Song Of The Bandit 2:34

04 Marty Robbins - Wind 2:59

05 Marty Robbins - Prairie Fire 2:20

06 Marty Robbins - My Love 1:47

07 Marty Robbins - Ride Cowboy Ride 3:18

08 Marty Robbins - Red River Valley 2:27

09 Marty Robbins - The Bend In The River 2:35

10 Marty Robbins - When The Work's All Done This Fall 2:33

11 Marty Robbins - Abilene Rose 3:05

12 Marty Robbins - Dusty Winds 1:56

13 Marty Robbins - Old Red 3:03

14 Marty Robbins - Doggone Cowboy 2:14

15 Marty Robbins - When The Works All Done This Fall 2:44

16 Marty Robbins - Small Man 4:27

17 Marty Robbins - The Red Hills Of Utah 2:10

18 Marty Robbins - Tall Handsome Stranger 2:06

19 Marty Robbins - The Fastest Gun Around 1:49

20 Marty Robbins - San Angelo 5:37

21 Marty Robbins - Old Red 3:13

22 Marty Robbins - Man Walks Among Us 3:11

23 Marty Robbins - Johnny Fedayo 3:08

24 Marty Robbins - The Master's Call 2:58

25 Marty Robbins - El Paso (Chart Version) 4:21


01 Marty Robbins - The Cowboy In The Continental Suit 2:58

02 Marty Robbins - I'm Gonna Be A Cowboy 1:55

03 Marty Robbins - Cry Stampede 2:18

04 Marty Robbins - Oh Virginia 3:45

05 Marty Robbins - Meet Me Tonight In Laredo 3:27

06 Marty Robbins - Take Me Back To The Prairie 2:20

07 Marty Robbins - The Wind Goes 1:45

08 Marty Robbins - An Old Pal, A Real Pal 2:52

09 Marty Robbins - Feleena 8:21

10 Marty Robbins - Never Tie Me Down 1:33

11 Marty Robbins - Lonely Old Bunkhouse 2:02

12 Marty Robbins - Night Time On The Desert 2:22

13 Marty Robbins - Cottonwood Tree 4:00

14 Marty Robbins - Mister Shorty 5:02

15 Marty Robbins - When It's Lamplighting Time In The Valley 2:38

16 Marty Robbins - Is There Anything Left I Can Say 2:02

17 Marty Robbins - Tonight Carmen 2:48

18 Marty Robbins - Waiting In Reno 2:28

19 Marty Robbins - The Mission In Guadalajara 2:38

20 Marty Robbins - Love's Gone Away 2:16

21 Marty Robbins - Bound For Old Mexico 3:01

22 Marty Robbins - Chapel Bell Chime 2:54

23 Marty Robbins - Don't Go Away Senor 2:41

24 Marty Robbins - In The Valley Of The Rio Grande 2:26

25 Marty Robbins - (The Girl With) Gardenias In Her Hair 2:38

26 Marty Robbins - 26 Spanish Lullaby 3:22


01 Marty Robbins - That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine 3:29

02 Marty Robbins - Chant Of The Wanderer 2:11

03 Marty Robbins - (Ghost) Riders In The Sky 3:35

04 Marty Robbins - South Of The Border 2:15

05 Marty Robbins - Sundown 5:00

06 Marty Robbins - Queen Of The Big Rodeo 2:59

07 Marty Robbins - Ava Maria Morales 4:26

08 Marty Robbins - The Outlaws 2:53

09 Marty Robbins - El Paso City 4:16

10 Marty Robbins - I'm Kin To The Wind 2:11

11 Marty Robbins - Trail Dreamin' 1:45

12 Marty Robbins - She's Just A Drifter 2:50

13 Marty Robbins - Way Out There 2:20

14 Marty Robbins - The Ballad Of The Small Man 4:04

15 Marty Robbins - Tumbling Tumbleweeds 2:54

16 Marty Robbins - San Angelo 4:33

17 Marty Robbins - Pride And The Badge 5:53

18 Marty Robbins - All Around Cowboy 3:07

19 Marty Robbins - Restless Cattle 2:31

20 Marty Robbins - The Dreamer 3:53

21 Marty Robbins - Lonely Old Bunkhouse 2:12

22 Marty Robbins - Ava Maria Morales 4:15

23 Marty Robbins - Shotgun Rider 3:03




  1. Ooh....very cool, thanks BB!

  2. My Late father used to listen to Marty Robbins, but we just had a couple album's of his. When I was little he would play the songs and explain the stories to me... almost acting them out. Then when I was in college I found a twofer CD that had gunfighter ballads 1 & 2 and loved it, but this bear family set is like a goldmine! Thanks again for uploading this ..

    1. Hi Ron37,
      I’m glad to hear that you’ve found such a treasure in the Marty Robbins collection. It’s wonderful how music can connect us to our past and bring back such vivid memories. Your father’s passion for these songs and the way he shared them with you is truly special. Enjoy the music and the memories it brings. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story with me.

  3. Gunfighter Ballads was the first album I ever heard on a record player. My friend Malcolm played it for me and I realised that you could own records and not have to wait for them on the radio. I asked my parents for a record player for Christmas and saved up my pocket money and bought the Beatles records. Sweet memories. Thanks.

    1. Hi lemonflag,
      It sounds like you have some wonderful memories associated with music, from your first encounter with the album “Gunfighter Ballads” to your joy of owning Beatles records. Music has a unique way of capturing moments and emotions that we can all connect to. Every now and then a post can take us back to those early days when we first encountered music. Thanks for sharing your sweet memories.
      My first recollection of hearing music was my mother singing to country music. Sweet sounds I am happy still exist in my memory.