Archive for August, 2009

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 26 August 2009

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009


The biggest hit of Marty’s lifetime career, “Singing the Blues” would have been even bigger if not sabotaged by Columbia Records, his own record company. Mitch Miller, head of Artists and Repertory for Columbia in New York City, chose Guy Mitchell to record a cover version of the song. Instead of Marty’s hit crossing over to popular music stations, Mitchell’s cover captured most of that airplay and spent nine weeks at number one on the pop charts. With pop music always attracting a larger audience than country music did, Mitchell sold approximately two million copies to Marty’s half a million. No one can know how much of a smash “Singing the Blues” would have been if Columbia had marketed Marty to both audiences, instead of using the song to rejuvenate Mitchell’s faltering career. And then Columbia did it again. Marty’s recording of “Knee Deep In the Blues” was released in December 1956 while “Singing the Blues” held a lock on the number one spot. It climbed to number three in the spring of 1957, and Mitchell covered it for a number sixteen pop hit. (more…)

Faron Young and Marty Robbins newsletter — 12 August 2009

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

MARTY ROBBINS ON THE GRAND OLE OPRY 53 YEARS AGO On August 11, 1956, Marty Robbins and Webb Pierce appeared with Carl Smith on the Grand Ole Opry. Dressed in western garb and gunbelts from their recent movie, they sang “Why Baby Why.” They were fulfilling a promise they had made to Charlie Lamb a few weeks earlier in Hollywood “that they would return to Nashville and wear their same western dress on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.” The outdoor scenes of the movie, Buffalo Gun, had been filmed in Kanab, Utah. Webb played a government buffalo-gunagent who deputized Carl and Marty to help him find stolen buffalo guns. Marty narrated the movie, which begins with his voice saying, “That there’s Webb Pierce, and that’s Carl Smith, and that’s me, Marty Robbins. Sure can’t figure out why but we’re all in–” and the Jordanaires start singing “Buffalo Gun.” At the end of the song, Marty says, “This story begins in 1875.  Me and Smith and Webb Pierce are on this cattle drive….” The seriousness of Buffalo Gun can be shown by the scene where an Indian has just stolen Carl’s horse. Webb rides up, dismounts, and says, “Things like this just don’t happen in Nashville.” (more…)