by Eric Berman
Back in 1959, America was having a love affair with the Wild West with shows like "Gunsmoke" and "The Riflemen" lighting up millions of TV screens. Marty Robbins was a singer/songwriter who had dabbled in Rockabilly, Pop and Country recordings. It was against this backdrop that Robbins released the album "Gunfighter Ballads And Trail Songs" featuring this self-penned classic featuring the great guitar work of Grady Martin and background vocals by The Glaser Brothers. It was easily twice as long as any other record to hit the radio airwaves, yet it managed to top both the Pop and Country charts. Later on, it was widely covered by groups like X, Meat Puppets and the Grateful Dead who made it a staple of their concert sets from the early 1970s on. Robbins, a race car enthusiast, went on to place 47 records in the Top Ten of the Country charts and to record several more albums of Gunfighter Ballads before his death in 1982 at the age of 57.