Twentieth Century Drifter

The Life of Marty Robbins

By Diane Diekman
(University of Illinois Press, Hardcover, 9780252036323, 280pp.)

Publication Date: February 2012

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Description

Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins is the first biography of this legendary country music artist and NASCAR driver who scored sixteen number-one hits and two Grammy awards. Yet even with fame and fortune, Marty Robbins always yearned for more.

 

Drawing from personal interviews and in-depth research, biographer Diane Diekman explains how Robbins saw himself as a drifter, a man always searching for self-fulfillment and inner peace. Born Martin David Robinson to a hardworking mother and 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 got his first gig as a singer and guitar player. Too nervous to talk, the shy young man walked onstage singing. Soon he changed his name to Marty Robbins, cultivated his magnetic stage presence, and established himself as an entertainer, songwriter, and successful NASCAR driver.

 

For fans of Robbins, NASCAR, and classic country music, Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins is a revealing portrait of this well-loved, restless entertainer, a private man who kept those who loved him at a distance.

 




About the Author
Diane Diekman is the author of Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born and A Farm in the Hidewood: My South Dakota Home. A retired U.S. Navy captain, she was acquainted with Faron Young for the 26 years before his death in 1996.
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