I remember Marty Robbins singing “El Paso” and “Big Iron” (both from the Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs LP).
But I didn’t know until we started to learn the original song to add to our repertoire that there were two other songs about that El Paso drama.
The original – which was voted among the best 100 country & western songs – was released in 1959 and went to No 1 on the country and pop charts. It featured Grady Martin on nylon-stringed guitar,which gave the song its Tex-Mex sound, and the Glaser Brothers provided the backing vocals.
The follow-up about Feleena was released in 1966, and Robbins wrote the final part of the trilogy in 1976 when it went No 1 on the country charts.
Here they all are.
First the story from the doomed cowboy’s perspective.
Then we have the back story about the girl he loved, Feleena.
Then a third person account by someone flying over El Paso who feels a connection with the cowboy.