Keith Urban’s Homage to Marty Robbins Through Song

In 2009, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) paid tribute to the artists from previous decades who had inspired the modern country music landscape we are all familiar with today. This special event brought together the leading figures of the contemporary country music scene to perform the timeless songs of the past. Among the accolades bestowed that night, George Strait was honored as the Artist of the Decade, a testament to his enduring influence on the genre.

At the ACM Artist of the Decade All-star Concert, Keith Urban was entrusted with the task of performing a medley of songs by the legendary Marty Robbins. Stepping onto the stage with his guitar, Urban provided a brief introduction to Robbins, sharing personal anecdotes about his admiration for the singer and describing him as “the coolest guy ever.” With an appreciative audience before him, Urban kicked off his performance by crooning Robbins’ classic “Singing the Blues,” infusing the song with his own unique style, even showcasing his yodeling skills to enthusiastic applause. Transitioning seamlessly, he then paid homage to Robbins’ greatest hit, “El Paso,” by expertly strumming his guitar. The performance culminated with the catchy and timeless melody of “A White Sport Coat and A Pink Carnation.”

Marty Robbins’ catalog of top-performing songs holds a special place in country music history. All three songs that Keith Urban performed during the ACM concert achieved remarkable success on the country charts. “Singing the Blues,” originally penned by Melvin Endsley and recorded by Robbins in 1956, soared to the number one spot, marking the artist’s second chart-topper. “El Paso,” released in 1959, emerged as Robbins’ crowning achievement, conquering both the country and pop charts. Following closely, “A White Sport Coat and A Pink Carnation,” released a year after “Singing the Blues,” secured the third number one country single for Robbins.

These chart-topping classics, brought to life by Keith Urban in his stellar performance at the ACM All-star concert, serve as enduring gems in the rich tapestry of country music history. Witnessing Keith Urban’s impressive display of yodeling skills was a memorable highlight of this extraordinary musical celebration.

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