Fiddler Country US né Alexander
Robertson le 20 Novembre 1887 à Delaney (Arkansas). Alexander "Eck"
Robertson est connu pour être le premier artiste de Country Music à avoir
été enregistré en 1922.
Robertson grandit dans une ferme du Texas où sa famille s'est installé depuis 1891. À l'âge de 5 ans, Robertson commence à apprendre à jouer du fiddle puis du banjo et de la guitare. Durant les années 1920, il se produit régulièrement à l'"Annual Old Confederate Soldiers' Reunions". Il devient ami avec le joueur de fiddle Henry C. Gilliland qui l'accompagna à New-York pendant l'été 1922. Là-bas, ils auditionnèrent et obtinrent un contrat pour un enregistrement pour la Victor Talking Machine Company.
Le 30 juin 1922, Robertson enregistra six chansons, dont la plus connue "Sally Gooden", avec la participation du duo Arkansas Travelew. Le disque sortira vers la fin de l'année 1922, mais Victor Records n'en fera pas une grande promotion et il ne se vendra pas en grande quantité.
Le deuxième enregistrement de Robertson sera en août 1929, avec sa femme Nettie à la guitare, sa fille Daphne à la guitare ténor et son fils Dueron au banjo. En septembre, ils enregistrent leur dernier titre en compagnie de J. B. Cranfill.
Robertson continua à se produire dans plusieurs spectacles et à la radio. Dans les années 1960, John Cohen vint à la rencontre de Robertson dans sa maison d'Amarillo (Texas) où le musicien et folkloriste Mike Seeger le fit enregistrer.
Eck Robertson est mort le 15 Février 1975 à Borger (Texas).
was born in Arkansas and grew up on a farm in the Texas panhandle where his
family moved when he was three years old. His father, grandfather and uncles
were fiddlers who competed in local contests. His father, a veteran of the Civil
War, was also a farmer, and later quit fiddling to become a preacher.
At the age of five, Robertson began learning to play the fiddle, and later
learned banjo and guitar. In 1904, at the age of sixteen, he decided to become a
professional musician and left home to travel with a medicine show through
Indian Territory. In 1906 he married and settled in Vernon, Texas and became a
piano tuner for the Total Line Music Company.
Robertson and his wife Nettie performed at silent movie theaters and fiddling contests through the region. As the son of a Confederate veteran, Robertson was able to attend the annual Old Confederate Soldiers' Reunions across the South, and became a regular performer at these events. He met 74-year-old fiddler Henry C. Gilliland at one of these reunions, and the two began performing together. After the Richmond, Virginia reunion in June 1922, Gilliland and Robertson traveled to New York City, auditioned for and received a recording contract with the Victor Talking Machine Company. On Friday, June 30, 1922, Robertson and Gilliland recorded four fiddle duos for Victor. These probably represent the first commercial recordings of country music performers. Two of them, "Arkansaw Traveler" and "Turkey in the Straw", were released on Victor. Two others, "Forked Deer" and "Apple Blossom", were never issued. At the company's request, Robertson returned the next day, July 1, without Gilliland and recorded six additional sides. Four of them - "Sally Gooden", "Ragtime Annie", "Sally Johnson/Billy in the Low Ground" and "Done Gone" - were released on Victor over the next two years. The other two, "General Logan Reel/Dominion Hornpipe" and "Brilliancy and Cheatum", remain unissued. Robertson's rendition of "Sally Gooden" showcased his ability to interpret one melody with several variations.
Robertson's first record, with his solo "Sally Gooden" on one side and duo "Arkansaw Traveler" on the other, was released on September 1, 1922, but was not widely circulated until the spring of 1923. Sales figures are not known, but Victor did not promote the record strongly. His next two records were released in 1923 and 1924, but only after the summer of 1923, when Fiddlin' John Carson's recordings on Okeh Records kicked off a boom in old-time country music record sales. In 1925, Victor started using a new electrical recording process, and let Robertson's 1922 acoustically made recordings go out of print.
Robertson approached Victor about recording again, and in 1929 arranged to meet a Victor field recording engineer in Dallas, Texas. This time he included his wife Nettie on guitar, his daughter Daphne on tenor guitar and his son Dueron on tenor banjo. On August 12, 1929 the group recorded four fiddle tunes - "Texas Wagoner", "There's a Brown Skin Gal Down the Road", "Amarillo Waltz" and "Brown Kelly Waltz". On October 10, the Robertson family band returned to Dallas and recorded two fiddle duos with Texas fiddler J. B. Cranfill, "Great Big Taters" and "Run Boy Run". Two additional tunes were recorded that evening, "Apple Blossom" and "My Frog Ain't Got No Blues", but were not issued. The next day, October 11, the band recorded "Brilliancy Medley", released in September 1930, and the ballad "The Island Unknown", released in December 1929. That day the band also recorded three additional sides that were not released - "My Experience on the Ranch" and remakes of "Arkansaw Traveler" and "Sally Gooden".
The week of September 20, 1940, Robertson recorded 100 fiddle tunes at Jack Sellers Studios in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately, there is no song listing from these sessions, and none of the tunes have ever surfaced.
Robertson continued to perform extensively at dances, theaters, fiddlers' conventions and on radio. In 1963, John Cohen, Mike Seeger and Tracy Schwarz visited Robertson at his home in Amarillo, Texas and taped some of his music, which was released on County Records as Eck Robertson, Famous Cowboy Fiddler. Robertson appeared at the UCLA Folk Festival in 1964, and at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965, accompanied by the New Lost City Ramblers.
Robertson died in 1975 in Borger, Texas and was interred at the Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery. His tombstone is engraved "World's Champion Fiddler.
Talents : Fiddle
Style musical : Old Time, Hillbilly
|SALLY JOHNSON - BILLY IN THE LOW GROUND||
Years in activity :
|1922||78 t. VICTOR 18956 (US)||A.C. (Eck) ROBERTSON - Sally Gooden / Arkansaw Traveler (with Henry C. GILLILAND)|
|1923||78 t. VICTOR 19149 (US)||A.C. (Eck) ROBERTSON - Turkey In The Straw (with Henry C. GILLILAND) / Ragtime Annie|
|1924||78 t. VICTOR 19372 (US)||A.C. (Eck) ROBERTSON - Sally Johnson - Billy In The Low Ground / Done Gone|
|1929||78 t. VICTOR V40145 (US)||Texas Wagoner / There's A Brown Skin Gal Down The Road|
|1929||78 t. VICTOR V40166 (US)||The Island Unknown Part 1 / The Island Unknown Part 2|
|1929||78 t. VICTOR V40205 (US)||Run Boy Run / Great Big Taters|
|1930||78 t. VICTOR V40298 (US)||Brilliancy Medley / Amarillo Waltz|
|1930||78 t. VICTOR V40334 (US)||Brown Kelly Waltz Part 1 / Brown Kelly Waltz Part 2|
|19??||LP 12" RCA ? (US)||COMMEMORATIVE SINGLES - ARKANSAS TRAVELER - COUNTRY DANCE - ECK ROBERTSON - HENRY GILLILAND|
|06/1999||CD COUNTY CO-3515-CD (US)||OLD-TIME TEXAS FIDDLER - VINTAGE RECORDINGS - 1922-1929 - Brilliancy Medley / Texas Wagoner / Arkansas Traveler / Great Big Taters / Sallie Gooden / There's A Brownskin Girl Down The Road Somewhere / Ragtime Annie / Amarillo Waltz / Done Gone / The Island Unknown, Part 1 / The Island Unknown, Part 2 / Sally Johnson - Billy In The Low Ground / Turkey In The Straw / Brown Kelly Waltz, Part 1 / Brown Kelly Waltz, Part 2 / Run Boy Run|
© Rocky Productions 8/11/2010