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Some Memories - Growing Up With Marty Robbins by Andrew Means

Some Memories - Growing Up With Marty Robbins

by Andrew Means

136 pages
A sister's childhood memories of country singer Marty Robbins

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About the Book
"Some memories just won't die," country music legend Marty Robbins sang in one of his final recordings before his death from heart failure on December 8th, 1982.

In this memoir, his twin sister Mamie reminisces about the childhood they shared in and around Phoenix, Arizona, in the 1920s and '30s.

Descended from Texas and Arizona cowboys and Utah Mormons on their mother's side and Polish stock from Michigan on their father's, Marty and Mamie spent their early years in poverty and domestic strife. What they lacked in material wealth though, they found in the riches of their desert playground.

In anecdotes about the family's frequent moves and squalid living conditions, Mamie recalls the feisty brother who always seemed able to laugh off setbacks. There are also glimpses of Marty's developing interest in music, from playing harmonica with his father and uncle to his first gigs as a shy sideman in a local band.

Marty moved to Nashville in the early 1950s, but he never lost his attachment to the Southwest. Stories he heard and the wild open terrain he loved inspired him to write his international hit "El Paso" and other gunfighter ballads.
In 1960, "El Paso" won him the first of two Grammy awards in the Country and Western category. The second followed 10 years later for his composition, "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife." Among his other 18 Country chart toppers between 1956 and 1976 were "A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)," "Devil Woman" and "El Paso City."

In addition to his music, Marty acted in television Westerns and even wrote a short Western novel, entitled "The Small Man." His great passion outside music and family was stock car racing, and he was nationally rated as a NASCAR driver.

Sadly, Mamie passed away before this account was completed, but the adventures she shared with her brother live on in these vivid and heartfelt descriptions. Much of the material was adapted by journalist Andrew Means from interviews given to him by Mamie. Additional material came from friends and family who knew Marty in his formative years living in Glendale, Arizona, or when he was serving in the Navy during World War Two, and subsequently making a name for himself on the Phoenix entertainment scene.

 

Reviews
Excellent! It'll have a special place on my shelf of treasures.
- Hal Swift, cowboy poet and 1940s Marty Robbins bandmate
A well written account of a major country singers early struggles and triumphs growing up in the southwest that molded his future success. An interesting read !
- Jim West, Veteran Country Radio Air Personality, Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

About the Author
Andrew Means has written about musicians and entertainment for much of his working life, starting with the British periodical Melody Maker in the early seventies. In more recent years he has lived in Phoenix, Arizona, and continued to cover music for various media.

 

 

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