Born in Maricopa County, Arizona, Marty Robbins had a native American ancestry and after a troubled teenage life signed up for the US armed forces during World War II. After learning to play guitar during his military service he came out and almost immediately started a career in music which very quickly developed into a successful radio and TV career. His highest charting album was his 1959 release Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs which reached number six in the Billboard Album Charts. Robbins released 52 albums during his career and had a string of hit singles, his most famous being El Paso which topped the charts in 1959. His musical success enabled Robbins to indulge in his passion for NASCAR racing, one of the most popular forms of motorsport in the US. Robbins was moderately successful in NASCAR but always looked to his music to earn a living. He was a highly respected member of the country music fraternity being inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 1975. His songs have been covered by Grateful Dead, Johnny Cash and Frankie Laine and often featured in Elvis Presley's live shows. Robbins died in 1982 at the age of 57 from cardiovascular disease.