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El Paso

Let’s continue with another Daily Dose of Murder Ballads this evening by heading down to border country. Here’s Marty Robbins singing his career-defining tune El Paso.

Robbins wrote this tune and first recorded it for his Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs album of 1959. By 1960, it topped both the country and pop charts. In 1966, Robbins recorded a sequel to El Paso called Feleena.

If you’re interested in hearing another nice version of El Paso, check out Tom Russell’s version on Indians Cowboys Horses Dogs, an all around great record.


  1. Ha, ha, ha…..El Paso I heard a gazzillion times when I was young, heard everywhere it seems. Not planning on shooting anyone are you EG?? Seems like you got murderin on your mind the last few days. Know somebody that is……just asking cuz you really seem taken by all lthis doing-somebody-in stuff.

    • I’m a gentle soul rebelle, and not interested in doing violence. It turns out that our folk music traditions are anything but gentle though, and I haven’t even touched on the easy pickings on the blues side of the spectrum, tunes like John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom, and that chilling Pat Hare tune, Murder my Baby. I think exploring folk music thematically is eye-opening, although going into this series I recognized that it was a little macabre compared to other themes I’ve explored here like trains and boozing. Maybe I should make the series weekly as opposed to daily.

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