Marty Robbins Book Brings Back Memories
One summer Saturday night at Nashville Speedway, Marty Robbins was leading a caution-delayed race when he suddenly swerved into the pits and began unbuckling his helmet.
Crew chief Preacher Hamilton (grandfather of future NASCAR star Bobby Hamilton) rushed over to see what was wrong with the car.
“Nothing’s wrong,” said Marty, “but we’re runnin’ late and I’ve gotta get down to the Ryman to play the late set on the Opry.”
That combination of racing and singing was part of the legacy of the late Robbins, whose life is chronicled in a newly-released book, “Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins.”
Written by Diane Diekman, the book consists of 304 pages and contains 25 black and white photographs. It is available for $29.95 online or through Amazon.com.
Drawing from a series of personal interviews and in-depth research, Diekman explains in a press release, “how Marty saw himself as a drifter, a man always searching for self-fulfillment and inner peace.
“Born Martin David Robinson to a hard-working mother an abusive, alcoholic father, he never fully escaped from the insecurities burned into him by a poverty-stricken nomadic childhood in the Arizona desert.
“In 1947 he landed his first gig as a singer and guitar player. Too nervous to talk, the shy young man walked onto stage singing. Soon he changed his name to Marty Robbins, cultivated his magnetic stage presence, and established himself as an entertainer, songwriter and NASCAR driver.”
Robbins competed in all levels of racing, from the Saturday night fender-benders at Nashville Speedway to the top Winston Cup level in NASCAR. He never won a race in the upper series but was well-liked well-respected by his fellow drivers and was a fan favorite wherever he went.
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