Occasionally, an old country song shows up in popular culture, and I feel compelled to say something about it, mostly because I think about old country songs all the time, and it seems like there is a small window available where I might be able to convince other people that they should do the same. I should say that this post contains no “Breaking Bad” spoilers. Actually, it contains almost no content related to “Breaking Bad,” except to mention that the show’s series finale, which aired last night, was named after a character in a Marty Robbins song, and included a brief sample of Robbins’ recording and main character Walter White’s rendition of a verse.
The song referenced by the series finale, “El Paso,” is worth consideration. Released on Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs in 1959, “El Paso” won the 1961 Grammy for best country and western recording after reaching number 1 on both the country and pop charts in 1960. Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs is a great album of traditionals, gospel songs, and cowboy songs from the Hollywood cowboy era mixing seamlessly with Robbins’ original tunes. Continue reading