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Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins (Music in American Life) Hardcover – February 10, 2012

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Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins (Music in American Life) + Some Memories: Growing Up with Marty Robbins - As Remembered by His Twin Sister, Mamie + Marty Robbins Anthology
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A detailed account of the life and career of country music superstar Marty Robbins. Anyone interested in Robbins or the country music world of his long era will enjoy Diane Diekman's refreshing, compelling narrative."

--Ronnie Pugh, author of Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour

"A well-told and informative biography of a great but over looked country star."--Country Music People


"A top country & western artist who crossed over to the pop charts, Marty Robbins deserves this well-written, well-researched account of his life and music. Diekman's expert history is a welcome addition to the oeuvre of classic country music biography."

--Holly George-Warren, author of Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry



"Diekman propels the narrative with impressive detail and energy, leaving the reader with an impression that can only echo the admiration and respect of those who knew him."--The Austin Chronicle

"In her excellent new, 2012 biography, Diane Diekman explores the personal, more nuanced side of this unique and gifted talent and explains how he was painfully shy by nature."--American Cowboy

Book Description

Country singer, racecar driver, restless seeker

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Product Details

  • Series: Music in American Life
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (February 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252036328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252036323
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ernie McHone on February 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marty Robbins is one of the greatest and most talented singer/songwriters of all time. I really began listening to Marty's music about three years ago. I was born a little less than two years after Marty's untimely death, therefore, I wasn't really exposed to a lot of his music. I was aware through television and radio of songs like "El Paso" and "Devil Woman" but had never taken the time to really listen.

I purchased one of his greatest hits CDs here on Amazon, and needless to say, I was truly impressed at how talented and versatile this man was. He was crossing over into the pop charts way before anyone else was with songs like "A White Sport Coat" and the above mentioned "El Paso". I recently watched an interview with Marty Robbins where he stated that he never really arranged many songs in a country style. That seems to be just where people wanted to place him. But Marty Robbins was beyond a country and western singer. He was a singer period. Just take a listen to the album "Marty after Midnight". It is pure jazz greatness and is just a slice of this man's vocal prowess.

I had scoured the internet after being introduced to Marty for anything I could find on him. After buying the CD, I soon bought the "Essential" CD collection as well as the "Legendary Performances" and "Marty Robbins Anthology" DVDs. I must say he has become my all time favorite vocalist. While searching the internet for Marty stuff, my goal was to find a biography about the man. Sadly, my search came up short as the only thing available was the large bibliography "Marty Robbins: Fast Cars and Country Music" and "Some Memories: Growing up with Marty Robbins" which was a book co-written by Marty's twin sister before she passed. This wasn't enough for me, as I wanted a volume dedicated to the man's life.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gary Presley on February 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I share membership in a writing critique group with Diane, and I know firsthand how much hard work, dedication, and insight she has brought to this biography. Diane's knowledge is rooted in the fact she is a fan, a person who saw Robbins perform several times. Diane is the type of writer who researches, interviews friends and family to get all sides of her subject, and then sticks to the facts. Don't expect a modern psycho-biography, but a fan will learn much about Robbins and what made him the man and performer the public saw on stage. The biography begins with Marty's rough-and-tumble childhood in Arizona and then follows him through his service in World War II, where he saw combat in the South Pacific. The chapters about his career, his family life, and his racing in NASCAR wind up the story. Robbins was a natural artist, and his story deserved an author like Diane, one who is both a skillful writer and a knowledgeable music enthusiast.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Angela on April 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
TWENTIETH CENTURY DRIFTER: The Life of Marty Robbins is well written. Like any other project author Diane Diekman produces, the material she presents comes from countless hours of research and interviews. She doesn't take 'I don't remember' for an answer. Diane digs till she gets the information she's looking for. Through her diligence, we are rewarded with an all-access pass with the late Marty Robbins from the people who knew him best. Diane leads you on a journey through detailed accounts and photos from his boyhood antics through to his many accomplishments both in the music industry and on the racetrack. Not only will you see a side of Marty Robbins only those closest to him ever saw, but you get a glimpse of what life in Nashville was like in it's early days and the role he played in helping others on their way up. Whether you are a fan of classic country, Nascar or the man, this book on the legendary Marty Robbins belongs in your collection.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By idotgrass on March 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thought the book was well written, good information. If you want any negatives on Marty you really won't find it in this book. After finishing this book I still don't think I really know Marty the man. His life is still pretty well hidden even after 30 years since his death. I would have liked to have known what happened to Marty's family after his passing. I know Ronny occasionally tours but I have no idea what Marty's wife & daughter are doing. That would have been a nice addition to the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By GINA on August 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I did not know this book had been published until I found it on Amazon. I just finished reading this biography and it is a wonderful book about a very talented man. I wish I could have met him. The first concert that I attended was when I was about 5 or 6 years old and it was Marty Robbins. There are in depth details about his band members and information and memories that myself and many people did not know since he was so private. I had only seen one picture of his wife. If you are a Marty Robbins fan, you will love this book. I do wish that there had been more about his brothers, sisters and his mother through the years. He was a pure entertainer and such a great talent, wish he were still here singing,making people laugh and driving that race car. I was at the Music City News Awards when he won the Favorite Male Vocalist Award, I was so happy for him, that was in June, 1982 and he passed away 6 months later. I cried when I heard the news of his death and I shed tears when I finished the book. Thanks for sharing the many sides of Marty and they were all good as far as I am concerned.
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