Historic Railroad Avenue will be transformed into a carnival of vendors and historic displays offering something to interest everyone on March 2 and 3. Hours are 9 am to 3 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. Come and learn more of the history of Railroad Avenue and Willcox during a fascinating walking tour at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Watch while the Reenactors stroll the street as real cowboys and badmen did over 100 years ago and as Marty chronicled in his western ballads. Enjoy the dance hall routine performed by the Shady Ladies in full costume. Vendors and music will be in Railroad Park on both days and there will be a free jam session in the rear of the Marty Robbins Museum on Saturday afternoon. Vendor space is free if you set up for both days but $10 for only one day; bring your chairs, table and shade and make your reservation at 520-766-1404.
J. R. Garner and 3-Wheel Drive Band along with Ray Harrison, Jan Phillips, Ernie Menehouse, Mike Ewing, Chris Campbell, Sarah Mead, Ronnie Hazelett and John Edmonson arrisonwill play and sing Marty’s music during the memorial concert at the Willcox High School auditorium, 480 N. Bisbee Ave. The one performance will be at 5 pm Saturday, March 2. Tickets are $15 for all seating on a first-come basis. Video cameras and flash cameras are not allowed during the show. The Marty Robbins Tribute is sponsored by the Friends of Marty Robbins, a group dedicated to keeping Marty’s music and memory alive. Contact Juanita Buckley (520-766-1404) firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and further information.
Raffle tickets are being sold for a 50:50 drawing. Rex Allen Days Rodeo Queen Shannon Radke will draw the winning ticket during the intermission at the memorial concert on March 2. Tickets are $2 each or 6 for $10 and the winner must be present to win. Contact the Marty Robbins Museum.
Robbins dropped out of high school in Glendale to serve in the Navy from 1943-1945, where he learned to play the guitar. In the mid-40s he joined a country music band at a local bar as a guitar player, and shortly thereafter was asked to sing. It wasn’t long until he had a radio program on KTYL in Mesa and later KPHO in Phoenix, where he held two jobs, as the star of “Chuck Wagon Time” on radio and “Western Caravan” on television.
His first record, “Love Me Or Leave Me Alone,” was released in April 1952 and on Jan. 19, 1953, he became an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. Glendale’s son moved to Nashville and was on his way to stardom. In 1953 Robbins had his first number one hit with “I’ll Go On Alone,” followed by 15 others, including “Singing The Blues,” “A White Sport Coat,” “El Paso,” “Devil Woman” and “Begging To You.” He could sing nearly every type of song, and recorded not only country, but pop, rock, Hawaiian, western and calypso. Many of his hits were simultaneously in the top 10 on the country and pop charts.
Marty Robbins wrote many of his songs; appeared in several movies; had three national TV series, “The Drifter”, “The Marty Robbins Show” and “Marty Robbins Spotlight” and was a race car driver. Robbins started his racing career on the dirt tracks, but proved to be good enough to compete on the NASCAR circuit against top drivers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison.