Marty Robbins is well known as a Country Western singer and for a time specialized in the sub genre of “Cowboy” music. He had a number of big hits with Cowboy songs, most notably “El Paso” which topped the Billboard Country and Pop charts simultaneously 1960 and won a Grammy Award. It is by far Robbin’s best known song. For some people it’s Robbin’s only known song, but that’s a different story.
What most people don’t know is that “El Paso wasn’t his first #1 song on the Country Charts. In fact, it was his sixth #1 song on the Billboard Country Charts. The big difference with “El Paso” was that it was a cross over hit.
Robbins wasn’t just a country singer, and early on it wasn’t what he was best known for. He was a versatile singer who could and did have hits with Blues, Rock and Roll, Country, Cowboy, and Hawaiian music. For some reason though, he was pigeon holed as a “country” singer.
In 1957 “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation” went to #1 on the country charts and #2 on the pop charts. It doesn’t get much air play these days, but it was 55 years ago this week that it topped the country charts, so I thought I’d post if for your listening pleasure.
For those of you old enough to remember Mitch Miller, the song was recorded at his studio in New York City in early 1957. If you listen carefully to the back up singers, the style might sound familiar.