On This Day: Marty Robbins Wins ‘Man of the Decade’ Award at 1970 ACM’s

by Clayton Edwards
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Today, Marty Robbins is something of a gateway artist. His music is accessible to audiences of any age. At the same time, he is one of the biggest names in classic country. Through his hit songs like “El Paso,” and “Big Iron,” many younger music fans find their way to other classic artists as well as Robbins’ expansive catalog.

Marty Robbins was active in the country music world for thirty-four years. During that time, he recorded over 500 songs and pressed 60 albums. The country legend also took seventeen songs to the top of the charts. However, he is best known today for his 1959 album Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs. That album alone has introduced thousands of people to western music.

Marty Robbins took home several awards over the course of his career. Robbins won two Grammy Awards, including one for “El Paso.” He was also given the Grammy Hall of Fame Award posthumously in 1998. Robbins was also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. However, his most prestigious award win came at the 1970 Academy of Country Music Awards. That night, the ACM named Robins Artist of the Decade (then, Man of the Decade).

Marty Robbins closed out 1959 with the release of Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs in September and the release of “El Paso” as a single in October. He continued to release great music throughout the sixties. So, it’s easy to see why he would be named Artist of the Decade.

Marty Robbins Is in Good Company

Marty Robbins was the first artist to receive the prestigious award from the Academy of Country Music. However, he would not be the last. Since then, several other country music icons have taken home the award.

Seriously, the list of people who have taken home that award is basically a who’s who of country music. Marty Robbins came first. He entered the sixties riding a wave of cowboy fame.

Then, Loretta Lynn took home the honor for the seventies. There’s no denying The Coal Miner’s Daughter’s contribution to country music in that era.

In the eighties, the ACM named Alabama as Artists of the Decade. Their rock-infused sound defined the best of eighties country music.

Garth Brooks took home the Artist of the Decade award for the nineties. That was such a great time in country music. The decade gave us some of the biggest names in the genre. However, no one was bigger throughout the decade than Garth.

George Strait won the award in 2009. Honestly, he could have taken the award for the eighties or nineties and no one would have argued. However, he was the first to take the award in the new millennium. So, that makes up for the tardiness of the award.

The Academy of Country Music named Jason Aldean Artist of the Decade for the 2010s.

So, Marty Robbins was the first in a long line of legends to take home the prestigious award. He and the others to win the award will continue to shape the world of country music for decades to come.

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