I always smile when I hear a Marty Robbins song. My parents and grandparents played his Gunfighter album series over and over again when I was a pre-teen. While I would travel in a rock ‘n’ roll direction as a teenager, I can still remember the words to a number of his songs over 45 years later.
Marty Robbins was a smooth country singer whose songs often crossed over onto the pop charts. His song, “El Paso,” would be the first country song to win a Grammy Award and become a number one hit on the pop charts. He would record sixteen number one country hits and seven top twenty pop hits during the course of his career. Robbins was named the country artist of the decade (1960-1969). He would die at the age of 57 in 1982.
This Legendary Performances DVD gathers 15 of his live performances from 1957 to 1979 and presents them in chronological order. The picture quality on some of the early performances from the late 1950s and 1960s is average which is expected given the state of the recording process and equipment at that time. Still they present a young Marty Robbins at the height of his popularity.
The oldest performances are taken from the syndicated show, Country Style USA. The hit song, “Knee Deep In The Blues,” and the honky tonk style tune, “The Same Two Lips,” feature the excellent guitar work of Jack Pruett who would remain with Robbins until his death in 1982.
One of the highlights is a 1959 performance of the hit song, “The Story Of My Life” which was an early Hal David-Burt Bacharach composition. The background singers and whistlers are future country superstars Tompall Glaser and his brothers.
Other highlights include a sensitive 1970 performance of “My Woman, My Woman, My Wife” and a 1977 rendition of his 1957 prom anthem, “A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)”
There are two bonus extras on the DVD. His induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame is nice but ultimately forgettable. What is interesting is an extended interview from March of 1982 which is about nine months before his death. Robbins talks about his singing career and love of racing. He would actually race in the Daytona 500.
If you are a country music fan the archival footage is interesting and has rarely if ever been released. If you are also a Marty Robbins fan this DVD is essential as it presents a legendary country artist over the course of his career.