On This Day: Marty Robbins Made His Grand Ole Opry Debut 68 Years Ago

by Kayla Zadel
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Country music legend Marty Robbins stepped into the Grand Ole Opry stage as a member first time 68-years ago today. He was known for his entertaining performances on the iconic stage.

The 27-year-old from Arizona had played the Opry before, but on Jan. 19, 1953, he became a member. Marty Robbins was riding high from his breakout hit “I’ll Go Alone.” It was his first charting record, and it went on to be a No. 1 hit.

Marty Robbins quickly became a popular act at the Grand Ole Opry. As a matter of fact, when the Opry left the Ryman for its new home in 1974, Robbins was the last to perform at the radio show’s old venue. He was also the first to sing at its new home, Opryland.

Robbins was full of life on the Opry stage and he was known for putting on quite a performance. Not only would he command attention with his strong voice, but he would joke with his band and flirt with the audience. Robbins was also known for playing past his allotted time slot on the stage. The only people that seemed to care were the timekeepers of the show.

Little Jimmy Dickens recalls the times he witnessed Marty Robbins on the Grand Ole Opry stage. Dickens tells CMT, “He was well-liked from the beginning. He was kind of backward at first and looked down at the floor most of the time when he was singing. But he developed into one of the finest entertainers in the world.”

Robbins apparently had an iconic way to close his shows. Dickens laughs, “Oh, my goodness,” he says. “He did just as he pleased.”

More on Marty Robbins

Marty Robbins began singing professionally in 1947 after a three-year stint with the U. S. Navy. Robbins was given his own local television show, “Western Caravan,” on KPHO-TV in Phoenix in 1951. It was during his time there that he met Little Jimmy Dickens.

Robbins went on to not only be a legendary singer, but also a songwriter. He also loved driving a race car and even raced in several NASCAR events. Additionally, Marty Robbins appeared in many movies and TV series. His last movie appearance was in “Honkytonk Man” alongside Clint Eastwood.

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