El Paso City (1976 Marty Robbins song)

"El Paso City"
Single by Marty Robbins
from the album El Paso City
B-side "When I'm Gone"
Released March 19, 1976
Genre Country
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Marty Robbins
Producer(s) Billy Sherrill
Marty Robbins singles chronology
"Shutgun Rider"
"El Paso City"
"Among My Souvenirs"

"El Paso City" is a song written and recorded by American country music artist Marty Robbins. It was released in March 1976 as the first single and title track from the album El Paso City. The song was Robbins' 15th number one on the U.S. country singles chart. The single stayed at number one for two weeks and spent 11 weeks on the chart.[1]

Song background

Robbins wrote "El Paso City" while flying over El Paso, in - he reported - the same amount of time it takes to sing, four minutes and 14 seconds. It was only the second time that ever happened to him; the first time was when he composed the original El Paso as fast as he could write it down.

The song is a reworking (and indirect sequel) of Robbins' 1959 hit "El Paso," about a gunfighter who kills another man defending his girlfriend's honor, and later returns and is killed by a posse. In "El Paso City," the main protagonist is a passenger on an airplane over El Paso and is compelled to recall the song he heard long ago ("El Paso"). He fails to recall the man who sang "El Paso," but immediately senses a supernatural connection to the story. He wonders to himself, "Could it be that I could be the cowboy in this mystery," suggesting a past life.

The arrangement of "El Paso City" includes riffs and themes from "El Paso" and its sequel, "Feleena (From El Paso)".

Chart performance

Chart (1976) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

Other versions

The Meat Puppets covered the song on their single We Don't Exist (1994).


  1. Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 294.
Preceded by
"I'll Get Over You"
by Crystal Gayle
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

June 19-June 26, 1976
Succeeded by
"All These Things"
by Joe Stampley
Preceded by
"One Piece at a Time"
by Johnny Cash
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

June 26, 1976
Succeeded by
"I Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way"
by Lyle
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