OUT IN THE WEST TEXAS TOWN OF EL PASO (AND A GIVEAWAY!)–BY CHERYL PIERSON

How many songs do you know that had sequels to them? Remember “back in the day” when recording artists would sometimes “answer” a song with one of their own? Well, if you love Marty Robbins like I do, you’ll know that his song El Paso had not only one sequel, but two, and he was working on a third sequel when he died in 1982! I think that’s a “record” for musical sequels, don’t you? I love ballads, or story-songs, and to find out that there were sequels to my all-time favorite one was pure pleasure!

El Paso was written and originally recorded by Marty Robbins, and was released in September 1959 (I was two years old at the time, but Marty was my man from the minute I heard this song!) Though it was originally released on the album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, within a month it was released as a single and immediately became a hit on both the country and pop music charts, reaching NUMBER 1 IN BOTH at the start of 1960! But that wasn’t the end of it at all—it also won the Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1961, and with good reason. It still remains Robbins’ best-known song, all these years later.

 

Wikipedia states: It is widely considered a genre classic for its gripping narrative which ends in the death of its protagonist, its shift from past to present tense, haunting harmonies by vocalists Bobby Sykes and Jim Glaser (of the Glaser Brothers) and the eloquent and varied Spanish guitar accompaniment by Grady Martin that lends the recording a distinctive Tex-Mex feel. The name of the character Feleena was based upon a schoolmate of Robbins in the fifth grade; Fidelina Martinez.

The storyline is this: The song is a first-person narrative told by a cowboy in El Paso, Texas, in the days of the Wild West. The singer recalls how he frequented “Rosa’s Cantina”, where he became smitten with a young Mexican dancer named Feleena. When the singer notices another cowboy sharing a drink with “wicked Feleena”, out of jealousy he challenges the newcomer to a gunfight. The singer kills the newcomer, then flees El Paso for fear of being hanged for murder or killed in revenge by his victim’s friends. In the act of escaping, the singer commits the additional and potentially hanging offense of horse theft (“I caught a good one, it looked like it could run”), further sealing his fate in El Paso. Departing the town, the singer hides out in the “badlands of New Mexico.”

The song then fast-forwards to an undisclosed time later – the lyrics at this point change from past to present tense – when the singer describes the yearning for Feleena that drives him to return, without regard for his own life, to El Paso. He states that his “love is stronger than [his] fear of death.” Upon arriving, the singer races for the cantina, but is chased and fatally wounded by a posse. At the end of the song, the singer recounts how Feleena has come to his side and he dies in her arms after “one little kiss”.

Robbins wrote two songs that are explicit sequels to “El Paso”, one in 1966, one in 1976. Robbins intended to do one more sequel, “The Mystery of Old El Paso”, but he died in late 1982 before he could finish the final song.

Feleena (From El Paso) (FIRST SEQUEL TO EL PASO)

In 1966, Robbins recorded “Feleena (From El Paso)”, telling the life story of Feleena, the “Mexican girl” from “El Paso”, in a third-person narrative. This track was over eight minutes long, but what a story it tells!

Born in a desert shack in New Mexico during a thunderstorm, Feleena runs away from home at 17, living off her charms for a year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, before moving to the brighter lights of El Paso to become a paid dancer. After another year, the narrator of “El Paso” arrives, the first man she did not have contempt for. He spends six weeks romancing her and then, in a retelling of the key moment in the original song, beset by “insane jealousy”, he shoots another man with whom she was flirting.

Her lover’s return to El Paso comes only a day after his flight (the original song suggests a longer time frame before his return) and as she goes to run to him, the cowboy motions to her to stay out of the line of fire and is shot; immediately after his dying kiss, Feleena shoots herself with his gun. Their ghosts are heard to this day in the wind blowing around El Paso: “It’s only the young cowboy showing Feleena the town”.

El Paso City (SECOND SEQUEL TO EL PASO)

In 1976 Robbins released another reworking, “El Paso City”, in which the present-day singer is a passenger on a flight over El Paso, which reminds him of a song he had heard “long ago”, proceeding to summarize the original “El Paso” story. “I don’t recall who sang the song,” he sings, but he feels a supernatural connection to the story: “Could it be that I could be the cowboy in this mystery…,” he asks, suggesting a past life. This song reached No. 1 on the country charts. The arrangement includes riffs and themes from the previous two El Paso songs. Robbins wrote it while flying over El Paso in, he reported, the same amount of time it takes to sing–four minutes and 14 seconds. It was only the second time that ever happened to him; the first time was when he composed the original “El Paso” as fast as he could write it down.

Though there have been many cover versions of the original “El Paso” song, Marty Robbins put out more than one version of it, himself. There have actually been three versions of Robbins’ original recording of “El Paso”: the original full-length version, the edited version, and the abbreviated version, which is an alternate take in stereo that can be found on the Gunfighter Ballads album. The original version, released on a 45 single record, is in mono and is around 4 minutes and 38 seconds in duration, far longer than most contemporary singles at the time, especially in the country genre. Robbins’ longtime record company, Columbia Records, was unsure whether radio stations would play such a long song, so it released two versions of the song on a promo 45—the full-length version on one side, and an edited version on the other which was nearer to the three-minute mark. This version omitted a verse describing the cowboy’s remorse over the “foul evil deed [he] had done” before his flight from El Paso. The record-buying public, as well as most disc jockeys, overwhelmingly preferred the full-length version.

I can’t tell you how many times I played my 45 record of El Paso on my little portable record player as a little girl. As a country and western song, this has to qualify as my all-time favorite, and my husband even managed to record and adapt the ringtone for me on my iPhone, so when my phone rings it plays the opening words to EL PASO. This has been a huge embarrassment for my kids when they were teens and had to be with me in public, but also was a source of amazement for them when other people actually smiled and said, “Hey! Marty Robbins!

Now THAT recognition is the mark of endurance—a song that is still beloved by so many after over sixty years!

A picture of “retro” Rosa’s Cantina that hangs in my breakfast nook.

 

I have not written any stories that take place in El Paso, but I’m offering a free copy of The Devil and Miss Julia Jackson or Gabriel’s Law, winner’s choice, to one lucky commenter–so don’t forget to leave a comment and your contact info!

What’s your favorite classic country & western song? Is there a sequel to it?

Cheryl Pierson
A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
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73 Comments

  1. I have a special collection of Marty Robbins’s music and know the words to those songs. I blame my parents.

    Love Kenny Chesney or Garth. Garth’s ” The Dance” is s huge favorite.

    1. Denise, I can’t blame my parents–I’ve loved Marty Robbins since I was 3 years old. LOL My parents were not big country and western music fans–they loved the big band sound. But Marty’s voice has always been such a comfort to me, and I don’t know why.

      The Dance is my favorite Garth song, too.!

    2. Kenny Roger’s The Gabler..not sure that’s a classic. I have no idea if there is a sequel.

      1. Vicki, I LOVE The Gambler! Wouldn’t it be fantastic to write a song that was that loved by the public that a singer could make a wonderful career milestone with it, and then it went on to be made into a MOVIE? I can’t even imagine what a thrill that had to be for everyone involved.

  2. Good morning CHERYL- I loved listening to Marty Robbin’s growing up. He was one of my mom’s favorite singers. She especially loved these songs. Such a great storyteller.
    My favorite singer of course is George Strait, well several years ago he released a ballad his own son Bubba Strait wrote called Arkansas Dave. It’s an amazing song that tells a great story of a gunfighter.
    Thanks for sharing this with us and giving me a trip down memory lane of my childhood.

    1. Hi Tonya, I love George Strait, too. What a voice! But I think Marty will always be Number One in my heart because I have loved him sooooo long!

  3. CHERYL- Here are the lyrics for Arkansas Dave:
    He rode up on a winter day
    Steam risin’ off a streak face bay
    Said you probably know my name
    If you don’t it’s Arkansas Dave
    He talked of fifteen years ago
    And how he got the bay he rode
    He said he killed a man in Ohio
    First man he killed, first horse he stole
    It was a long road for Arkansas Dave
    He shot and left him where he laid
    He said he’d never forget that winter day
    He rode off on a streak faced bay
    I stood up and I shook his hand
    Told no one that I knew this man
    Started thinkin’ of a plan
    Bout how I’d deal him his last hand
    Didn’t take him long to come unwound
    He jumped up and gunned two men down
    Ran outside to leave the town
    But ole bay was nowhere to be found
    I head out with my forty-four
    And when he walked back through the door
    I shot till I could shoot no more
    And Dave Rudabough fell to the floor
    It was the end of the road for Arkansas Dave
    I shot and left him where he laid
    I’ll never forget that winter day
    I rode off on a streak faced bay
    No I’ll never forget that winter day
    When I rode home on Daddy’s streak face bay

    1. I don’t have one favorite country song but love
      Patsy Cline
      Loretta lynn
      The highwaymen
      Jeannie C. Riley
      And my all time favorite Reba Mcentire

      1. Tia, I love Reba too–kind of prejudiced though because she is from Oklahoma, too. LOL But we’ve got a lot of great C&W singers who hail from here–Reba, Vince Gill (another of my very favorites!), Garth Brooks, Joe Diffee, and many more. I don’t know how my parents could have NOT been C&W fans, being from Oklahoma, but they really were more big band era fans instead. I love The Highwaymen! Oh, and Jimmy Webb who wrote The Highwayman is from here– from a little town about 15 miles from where I was raised. I wish some of that talent had rubbed off on me–I couldn’t write a song to save my life!

    2. WOW. What a song! I haven’t heard this but you know now I am going to have to look it up on youtube and listen to it. Thanks for these lyrics–that song packs a punch (I love surprise endings!)

    3. I love this. Thanks for sharing, Tonya.

  4. My memories bring back Johnny Cash and his Folsom Prison.

    1. Jerri, I had a Sun 45 record of Johnny Cash’s when I was little–Ballad of a Teenage Queen, and the flip side was Big River. I wore that thing out! Still love to hear his voice–no matter what he’s singing.

  5. Avatar

    Dancing in the moonlight is my favorite song.

    1. I like that one too, Charlene!

  6. I do enjoy Marty Robbins. My husband has them on his ipod and we listen in the car.

    1. Debra, I love every song he’s ever made–I think I just love his voice. LOL I have cds I play in my car (I know–I need to get them on a thumb drive!) Every time I put a cd in the player anymore it’s usually Marty or another C&W singer — I really do love that kind of music!

  7. Avatar

    Great blog. It took me back to my days of living in El Paso. I met my first husband in El Paso, may he rest in peace, so the song is kind of the opposite of of story! I loved El Paso! It and it’s relation to Juarez could make for a great series of books! Stay safe!

    1. Stephanie, if I ever do write a story based in El Paso, I’m going to be contacting you for all the info! LOL That definitely would be a great basis for a story…or a series! LOL

  8. I have always loved Marty Robbins and one of my favorite songs of his is Streets of Laredo. El Paso was also a favorite. I have some of his music on my phone.

    1. Quilt Lady, I have always loved him, too from the time I was a small kid. Streets of Laredo was one of my favorites, too, but seems like the flip side of El Paso was Running Gun and I wore that out, too! LOL I still have all those 45’s but of course, they are just keepsakes now.

  9. Most people might think I am crazy, but I really like Kid Rock’s country style. Only God Knows Why and Picture (with Sheryl Crow) get me to turn up the volume every time. I have no idea if the songs have a sequel. I never really even thought about songs having sequels until I read this post.

    1. Hi Janine! I don’t think you’re crazy! I love Picture by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow! That song is one that really sounds like they are definitely singing to one another–emotional!

      You know, I think back in the 60’s sequels and “answers” to songs were a lot more prevalent than they are today. I can’t think of any current songs that have a sequel or an answer to them.

      1. Thanks for not thinking I am crazy. You’re right, that song is emotional. Sometimes when I here a song it makes me wonder what the song writer was going through when he/she wrote it. There definitely has to be a story behind this one.

        1. Yes, Janine, I think so, too. I think it’s fascinating to think of all the stories behind songs. And it seems like C& W really lends itself to that so well because those songs are so heartfelt!

  10. Garth brooks is my favorite country singer.

    1. Kim, I really love Garth, too. I remember when he was first getting started and playing a lot of smaller venues nearby. We lived in a little town called Mustang at the time (OK) and his hometown was Yukon, OK, which was about a ten minute drive away–both bedroom communities of Oklahoma City. But I had a baby at the time and couldn’t take off and go to concerts like I did in my younger days. LOL He is really an excellent singer, songwriter, and I hear he puts on a great show!

  11. Avatar

    Thanks for sharing this today. I’ve heard El Paso most of my life but I didn’t know there are sequels. I am a country music fan and some songs that come to mind that tell stories are Loretta Lynn’s Coal Miner’s Daughter and Coward of the County by Kenny Rogers. But one if my favorite song storytellers is Dolly Parton!
    Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Oh, Connie, you are so right–there are a lot of good ballad type C&W songs out there and Coward of the County was a fantastic one–Also, Lucille, and The Gambler were other great examples of story songs by Kenny Rogers–and how could I forget Reuben James? Dolly had a lot of them, too, and of course, Loretta Lynn! So many great songs! One of my favorites by Dolly is The Coat of Many Colors.

      So glad you stopped by today!

  12. I grew up listening to country and western music. El Paso and an White Sports Coat by Robbins are favorites.

    1. Estella, one of my favorites of Marty’s is Devil Woman–I know it’s not really C&W, but that is a very tough song to sing and he makes it seem so easy. He had a wonderful voice!

  13. Great post! Marty Robbins was definitely a good one!

    1. Melanie, I think so too. He had so many great songs, some that were not as “popular” as others, but as a fan, I loved them all!

  14. Not entering your giveaway because you were so good to me recently with so many of your books.
    I have so many favorite country songs especially real Country most of this stuff today isn’t Country but if I have to choose a favorite I can narrow it down to 2 songs Amarillo by Morning by George Strait and Walking after Midnight by Patsy Cline. Oh how I love Patsy Cline, George Strait, Marty Robbins, Don Williams, Gene Watson, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton I could go on and on with the Classics of Country.
    Love this Blog today Cheryl! Have a Blessed Day

    1. Hi Glenda! I hope you’re doing better! I love Amarillo by Morning, too, and The Chair was so clever, I have to say it’s one of my fave songs, too. Walking After Midnight…and CRAZY! Well, anything by Patsy Cline was wonderful. Her voice was so strong and pure. My favorite Don Williams song is Good Ol’ Boys Like Me, and Amanda is a close second. I hear you, girl! I love classic country music, too! So glad you popped in.

  15. I LOVE Marty Robbins!! I have some of his vinyl records and three CD’s, one of which is a gospel CD. My all time favorite is Johnny Horton, though. I grew up playing Daddy’s album of him, and then bought 6 others when I found them at a used record store when I was in my late 20’s, early 30’s. I have at least 5 CD’s of his music. Hank Sr is another favorite, and Waylon. Travis Tritt has three songs that tell a story, the first is Anymore, then Tell Me I Was Dreaming, and then If I Lost You. Great story songs, and the videos are amazing. One of my favorites, as a single, is Reba’s version of Cathy’s Clown, and the official video of it, where they spliced in some scenes from a movie, is really great!

    1. Trudy, I love Johnny Horton, too! OMG, talk about some fantastic STORY BALLADS! That man had them! I am so glad you mentioned Travis Tritt–I remember when he did some videos with those three songs and I wished so much I could see them all three in a ROW to see what the entire story was! LOL But I kept seeing them out of order and I finally gave up. So now, I’m going over to YOUTUBE and I’m going to sit and binge on TT and get the scoop! LOL You know one of my favorite Reba story songs was Does He Love You? That video was priceless! And I HAVE TO MENTION probably two of the very best story songs ever written by the incomparable Bobbie Gentry–Ode to Billie Joe, and Fancy.She had the most wonderful voice, she was beautiful, and what a wonderful song writer!

      1. Oh, yes!! Bobby Gentry had a wonderful voice!! I used to listen to her album over and over, too!! I only had one, and it had Ode To Billie Joe. I love Fancy!! There are two Reba versions of Fancy, one is longer than the other. I just watched the TT videos again over the weekend and again one day this week. May have to do it again!

        1. I read an interesting article about Bobbie Gentry a couple of years ago–It might be on google, but it was about why she turned her back on ‘the business’ and went back to her home town to live quietly. Man, I would love to sit down and talk to her about her life. It had to be so interesting. And I loved her way with words in both those songs. I’ll have to look up both versions of Reba’s Fancy now, too. I didn’t know there were two of them. You know that would be a great song to have a sequel to. OH!!! Remember Taxi by Harry Chapin? I just discovered the other day that there is a sequel to that song, too! I always wondered what happened after he let her off at her fancy house and drove away in his taxi. Now we know…

          1. The long version is on her album and youtube. The short version was the version they played on the radio, and it leaves a gap as to what happens. The local country radio station where I live played the shorter version. My parents and I were going to visit my sister and her family in Mississippi, and one of the station on our way there played the long version. I’ll have to check out the one for Harry Chapin’s Taxi! Bobby Gentry was married for a short time to Jim Stafford, too!

            1. OH WOW! I never knew she was married to Jim Stafford. He was another one of my favorites–his songs were soooo unusual, and speaking of Jim Stafford, if you’ve never heard his version of Mr. Bojangles, jump over to Youtube and give it a listen and KEEP THE TISSUES HANDY. No matter how many times I hear his version of it, I tear up. It is so poignant and moving. AND DIFFERENT! LOL

              1. Oh, and I almost forgot! How about The Wild Side of Life and It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels! Kitty Wells did It Wasn’t as the answer to Wild Side. Also, Red Solvine did Giddyup Go, and Minnie Pearl did Giddyup Go Answer. Red Solvine’s Phantom 309 can bring chills, and you could never forget Teddy Bear!

                1. “Come on back and talk to Teddy Bear…” OHHHHH BOOOOO HOOOO!!! Still remember hearing that for the first time and how I just wanted to burst into tears. A lot of those “recitation” songs really can hit your heartstrings HARD. And Phantom 309…Oh, yes, CHILLS! Now that’s how I felt when I first heard Riding With Private Malone for the first time by David Ball. He didn’t have a lot of hits, but that one is very memorable!

                  1. Yes!!! These songs are like long time friends!!

                    1. They really are. When I listen to Marty Robbins, it really does calm me somehow. I think because it’s so familiar and has been ‘with me’ for so many years.

  16. I don’t have a favorite country song.

    1. Caryl, I love just about every country song out there for different reasons. El Paso is the first country song I remember besides Ghost Riders in the Sky, and I would play them both for different reasons. Ghost Riders scared my little 3-year-old butt SILLY and I loved to be scared! LOL But El Paso was one I remember dancing to (not completely understanding what was happening in the song at that time) and then just loving the sound of Marty’s voice and the music. I guess that’s why I say it’s my favorite C&W song, because I’ve loved it longer than any other one. LOL

  17. Hi Cheryl

    What an interesting blog. I loved ballads too. Great storytelling. Western ballads cry out to love in such a heartfelt way. I love some of Tim McGraw’s ballads like the one “Live like you’re dying.” Something like that. Glen Campbell too had fantastic ballads. Have a wonderful summer Cheryl. Loved bed your post today.

    1. Kathy, I’m going to have to look that one up by Tim McGraw, but you reminded me of another one of his, “Don’t Take the Girl” that was one of his first hits, I think. Really good! Odd you mentioned Glen Campbell. I saw a post on FB about his daughter, Ashley, and her rendition of Pancho and Lefty (another wonderful ballad written by Townes Van Zandt, covered by several artists but probably most famously performed by Willie and Merle) where Ashley plays the banjo. OMGOODNESS!!! She is awesome, and it’s just her and a guitar player and another couple of singers that do harmony with her. If you get a chance, go over and take a look at it. It’s well worth it. Thanks for stopping by today, Kathy!

      1. Oh yes … that’s another great ballad by McGraw. I will check out Ashley’s rendition tonight. Thanks for the chat today Cheryl. Take care.

        1. Good to talk music with you, Kathy! Glad you came by!

  18. Wow, this is so Awesome, I had no idea, and I was born in El Paso! I really do love this song a lot also , it is one of my favorite ones probably because it mentions El Paso, I didn’t even know it had a sequel, so Thank you so very much for this Awesome informative post! <3 And you know there is still a Rosa's Cantina, i believe it is on the border of El Paso and new Mexico, my brother that lives in NM goes there sometimes, all during my growing up years I would hear about Rosa's Cantina. I used to love and still like the songs by Freddy Fender . I do love a lot of the Western Singers, I love Patsy Cline.Thank you for the chance. Have a Great weekend and stay safe.

  19. Wow, Alicia! I didn’t know there was really still a Rosa’s Cantina. I’m in love with my picture I posted of the print I have–I bought that at Garden Ridge Pottery or somewhere like that many years ago, and I have never tired of looking at it. I know it’s “after” the time period of the original El Paso and Feleena songs, and before the third El Paso City song, but it makes me think of it being timeless, and now to find out it’s still in existence just does my heart good. I love Freddy Fender. In my contemporary romantic thriller, Capture the Night, the cop/hero is half Hispanic, and his sister loves Freddy Fender. So at the end, she goes over to his house to “get it ready” for him to come home with his new bride, and when they walk in, FF is playing on the stereo. He is embarrassed, but his new wife surprises him and tells him SHE loves FF too! LOL Makes everything all right. I love Patsy Cline, too.

    You do the same, Alicia–have a great weekend, and stay safe. I’m getting tired of staying home, but so far, so good!

  20. My Dad was a big Marty Robbins fan. I guess that is where I learned to love his music. I also enjoy Johnny Cash, Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, and many others.

    1. Karen, I love all those artists, too. Love Brooks & Dunn, too–they have some excellent songs. David Ball did the one about Riding With Private Malone. I can’t listen to that one without getting teary!

  21. There are so many great country and western songs I can’t pick one most favorite. “Amarillo by Morning” is definitely a favorite and I have a Chris LeDeux version that was originally recorded before the George Strait version. Tom T. Hall has a lot of good story songs like “Old Dogs and Children and Watermelon Wine”. This past week I have been listening to Johnny Cash’s “Bitter Tears” album, all story songs with a message.

    1. Alice, I know what you mean! When you start thinking one is your favorite, then you think, “Oh, no, WAIT! I like this one as much as that one!” LOL Yes, I love Tom T. Hall’s songs, too! I get on a kick sometimes and just listen to one artist a LOT. I recently discovered a song by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits) and Emmylou Harris called Our Shangri-La–it’s not anything fancy, but I love to hear Mark’s guitar-work, and his voice has a quality I can’t put my finger on, but I really enjoy hearing him sing anything and everything. This is not a C&W song, but it’s really worth listening to (and believe me, I have listened to it MANY times over the past couple of weeks!) LOL

      1. What a lovely song, Our Shangri-La. I had never heard it before, so looked it up and played the concert version on you tube. It is now saved on my play list. You really can close your eyes and imagine sinking into the sand next to a fire, and listening to the waves on the shore. We could all use some time like that, snuggled in someone’s arms by the fire, forgetting the world gone crazy. Thanks for telling us about this song.

        1. Patricia, I’m so glad you gave it a listen and enjoyed it so much. I just discovered it by chance, and was so glad I did! You’re right—it does transport you out of these crazy times to a sweet, safe place. And I really love to hear the guitar, of course!

  22. Riders IN The Sky by Sons Of The Pioneers is my favorite, but there are so many others, Cool Water, Wind, Twilight On The Trail, Blue Prairie come to mind, that are also favorites. Their album COOL WATER was the first album I ordered. I wanted Riders In The Sky. It was the first track on the record. Not long after I got the album, it was dropped or I fell (it was a looong time ago), and a chip taken out of only the first track.
    I heard about Marty Robbins and El Paso before I heard of Sons Of The Pioneers. He was a favorite of My aunt and uncle. I remember hearing it played most times I went over to their house. I have their 45 of it somewhere. I had never heard of the sequels. Interesting.

    1. I really enjoy Sons of the Pioneers—their harmonies were fantastic! I think I might have turned into my parents by now, because I find myself thinking, “Today’s music is nothing compared to the ‘old days’—the country songs, Motown sound, British Invasion, you name it—it was all better back then!” Lol!

  23. Islands In The Stream sung by Kenny Rogers

    1. Jackie, I love that one too. Well, heck, I love ANYTHING by Kenny Rogers!

  24. The cowboy western song of all time tells what country music is all about-YOUR CHEATIN HEART by Patsy Cline!

    I also loved the songs sung by Johnny Rodriguez and Willie Nelson

    1. Oh, yes, Joye! Your Cheatin’ Heart–that is such a classic and just wonderful no matter who sings it. That reminds me of another Hank Williams song that I dearly love, no matter who performs it–I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry. There are so many great C&W songs, aren’t there? Yes, Johnny Rodriguez! Really enjoyed his music and of course, Willie!

  25. Cheryl,

    You know well that I share your love of Marty Robbins. The first time I heard El Paso was via the local AM radio station in my home town. I was a but a young whippersnapper at the time. *wink*

    My favorite classic country song is “Meet Me Tonight in Laredo” by Marty Robbins. It doesn’t have a sequel, but I did write a novel using the song’s story as my inspiration.

  26. Kaye, yes, I think we are two of Marty’s top fans! LOL! I remember Meet Me Tonight in Laredo and your book based on that, The Comanchero’s Bride! WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY that was! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and though I didn’t know you well at the time I read it, I had a very distinct feeling Marty’s song was the inspiration for that story of yours!

    My dad worked in the oilfields when I was growing up, and sometimes he’d be gone for days on end, but he always tried to bring me a surprise–and many times it was a little 45 record to play on my red record player. El Paso was one he brought me and I loved it soooo much. I just about wore it out, but I can still remember soooo carefully setting the needle down on the edge of the record so many times. I was very young–about 3, when I got that record player. Sure got a lot of mileage out of that, and I still have my 45 of El Paso!

    Thanks for stopping by today! XOXO

  27. Hi, Cheryl. Another great blog! I know Marty Robbins, but I’m not familiar with his music. And “El Paso” didn’t ring a bell. But as soon as I started playing the El Paso link you provided, I recognized it right away! And what a beautiful song. Back when country line dancing was popular, I loved dancing to all of these songs. And since Historical Romance, including Western Romance, are my favorite genre of novels, these songs have more of a special meaning to me. My favorite Westerns songs are You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This by Toby Keith, Red Dirt Road by Brooks & Dunn, and Run by George Strait.

    1. Sharon, it was a long time before I ever knew there were other “companion” songs to El Paso, even though El Paso was my favorite. My dad told me about Feleena when I was an adult, and he made me a cassette tape of it off of a cassette he had in his collection. I had heard El Paso City, but didn’t give it much thought, but as I got older, something about that song really spoke to me because, as a writer, I know how hard it is to let some characters and certain storylines “go” and move on to something else when you think there is more to say. And I knew that was how Marty felt about El Paso. It really was a passion for him, this set of songs. The second verse in El Paso City goes like this:
      My mind is down there somewhere
      As I fly above the badlands of New Mexico
      I can’t explain why I should know
      The very trail he rode back to El Paso
      Can it be that man can disappear from life and live another time?
      And does the mystery deepen
      Cause you think that you yourself lived in that other time?

      I love that supernatural connection he felt in this song, and the words he used to describe it.

      I love every one of the songs you mentioned. I left out in a previous comment (when I was talking about all the people from Oklahoma in the C&W music business) Toby Keith. His home town is about 20 minutes outside OK City. I’m a huge fan of his! I love HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? LOL

      So glad you stopped by, Sharon!

      1. I love that second verse, Cheryl! Thanks for sharing that. I’m going to listen to more of his music. I didn’t get interested in C&W music until I started country line dancing, and then I was hooked. C&W artists know how to tell a story and write the most beautiful love songs!

        1. They really do, and the older ones, IMO, are the ones that really told the stories straight from their hearts, whether they actually wrote the songs or performed them–or both!

  28. I love all your blogs, Cheryl, but this one’s special because Marty is my favorite country singer, followed closely by Jim Reeves and then Garth. I’ve loved El Paso since I was fifteen and my “first” love was a cowboy, hat and all, who worked on a ranch a few miles from our place. I’ve never forgotten him because El Paso and Francis are forever linked. The first time I heard Feleena, I thought it was a sequel, but I didn’t know about those things back then, and the trilogy is one I play often, in sequence. Many of your other favorites, and songs, I love as well. I adored Toby Keith when he recorded How Do You Like Me Now….so handsome, wearing that white Stetson, a mischievous twinkle in his eye and when he batted his hand…it always made me smile. So glad I didn’t miss this blog; nearly did, but better late than never. Kenny Rogers The Gambler and the movie, what fun and that became his signature song. I taped the special that aired in April about a month after his death. We also taped the Glen Campbell special and both are protected on my tv system. That’s where I first knew of Ashley Campbell but it wasn’t until last week that we started searching YouTube for more of her and I fell in love with Poncho and Left. She does a fine job of The Highwayman, too, both songs typically performed by males. So glad you like her, too. So many wonderful story songs, my favorite kind. Guess that’s why C&W is my favorite music, but I still have a rock n’ roll heart, too.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! So good to see you here! Marty is my fave, too, and my mom LOVED Jim Reeves sooo much. His voice was so smooth. Garth’s hometown is about 15 minutes from me and so of course he’s a favorite of mine, too–lots of different kinds of songs from him, and I really enjoy them all. I enjoyed the special about Kenny Rogers’s life, too. I saw the one where Dan Rather interviewed him on “The Big Interview” and it was really good. Went to see Kenny back in his heyday in the early 80’s with my mother-in-law, and it was a great experience. She made the deal with me that she’d go to see Kenny with me if I’d go to see Ernest Tubb with her. I thoroughly enjoyed BOTH of those concerts! We had the best time! I love C&W, too, and like you I also have a rock ‘n roll heart, as well. Maybe we’re just music lovers in general! Hugs, Elizabeth–so glad you came by!

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