7 Songs You Didn’t Know Marty Robbins Wrote For Other Artists

Country western balladeer Marty Robbins—armed with a crystalline croon and a holster full of cowboy narratives—sang of gunslingers and outlaws roaming the trails. In his stunning writing style, he made hit western ballads, like “Big Iron” and “El Paso.”

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However, his nearly 40-year career saw a lot more action than his song stories on the range. Robbins may have blazed a trail for outlaw country, but he also dazzled in an array of other styles, lending his narrative songwriting to a number of musicians.

[RELATED: Behind the Song: Marty Robbins, “El Paso”]

Here are 7 songs Marty Robbins wrote for other artists.

1. “Cigarettes and Coffee Blues” – Lefty Frizzell

Written by Marty Robbins

I guess I’ll take a walk tonight, I know that I can’t sleep / And I don’t go to bed at all, I just lay there and weep / Instead I’ll make our favorite spot, that’s what I think I’ll do / I’ve got those smokin’ cigarettes and drinkin’ coffee blues

Written by Robbins, “Cigarettes and Coffee Blues” was first recorded by honky-tonk maestro Lefty Frizzell in 1958. Robbins would later record his own version of the tune in 1963. It has since seen covers from a number of country artists and admirers.

2. “Walking Piece of Heaven” – Jeanne Pruett

Written by Marty Robbins

You must be a walkin’ piece of heaven / Or is it love that makes me see these things, country songstress Jeanne Pruett lilts.

Pruett released the Robbins-penned “Walking Piece of Heaven” in June 1973, just a month before Robbins dropped his own version of the song that July.

3. “Ever Since My Baby Went Away” – Jack Greene

Written by Marty Robbins

I’ll walk alone till she returns / I miss her tender kiss / I cry when I’m alone / I’m not brave enough I guess / I want to kiss that pretty face / Home has been a lonely place / Ever since my baby went away, plays the lonesome loping tune, “Ever Since My Baby Went Away.”

Robbins’ tune helped earned country singer Jack Greene his first Top 40 hit when he recorded and released it in 1965.

4. “Sure As Your Name’s Kate” – Rex Allen

Written by Marty Robbins

There’s just one way to figure / Your cheatin’ pulled the trigger / As sure as your name’s Kate / You put me here.

“You Put Me Here (Sure as Your Name’s Kate)” has seen many an iteration since Robbins put pen to paper. It was first released in 1961 by musical cowpoke Rex Allen. When Johnny Cash and The Tennessee Three got ahold of the tune in 1972, it was simply called “Kate,” and would become a smash hit for the country mainstays.

5. “Sugaree” – Dennis Lotis, The Tony Osborne Orchestra, and The Beryl Stott Chorus

Written by Marty Robbins

Swing singer Dennis Lotis along with The Tony Osborne Orchestra and The Beryl Stott Chorus recorded Robbin’s “Sugaree” in 1956. Robbins’ own version of the song wouldn’t be officially released until 1997. His cowboy-textured tune is a far cry from Lotis’ swinging pop rendition.

6. “Melba from Melbourne” – Hank Snow

Written by Marty Robbins

Then I left Melba from Melbourne / She made my heart yearn / She made my tears flow like wine / She wouldn’t leave there / I couldn’t stay there / So Melba could never be mine, croons country bigwig Hank Snow.

Snow was the first to record Robbins’ “Melba from Melbourne” in 1963 with the songwriter’s own version released shortly after.

7. “Nothing but Sweet Lies” – Johnnie & Jack

Written by Marty Robbins

I watched as he held her and kissed her goodnight / Heard every word as I stood out of sight / Just like a fool everything he believed / Nothin’ but sweet lies she once told to me, lilts country bluegrass duo Johnnie & Jack.

Their version of Robbins’ “Nothing but Sweet Lies” was billed simply as “Sweet Lies” when they released it in early 1958.

Photo by Andrew Putler/Redferns

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