Eck Robertson Collection

Alexander "Eck" Robertson, of Amarillo, TX, was one of the first fiddlers ever to be commercially recorded.  In 1922, he recorded several sides, some with Confederate veteran Henry C. Gilliland.  One of the records released from these sessions, Arkansas Traveler backed by Sally Goodin', was the first commercial country release.  Robertson played second fiddle on Arkansas Traveler, but his  Sally Goodin' sets the standard for this tune in Texas till this day.

Robertson toured with his family band, and recorded several more sides with them in 1929.  He did not record again until Mike Seeger made some field recordings of Robertson in the 1960s.

The 1920s recordings are of great interest to students of Texas fiddle.  They demonstrate that most (or all) of the features of modern Texas fiddling were firmly established by the early 1920s, including liberal use of grace notes and triplets, longbowing (though Robertson would also sometimes use more Appalachian-style bowing), and large numbers of significant variations (such as in his recording of Sally Goodin').  For instance, I dare anyone to attempt his Amarillo Waltz and say that's not a modern Texas-style waltz!

More information and several pictures of Robertson can be found here.

This collection is now complete.  I have transcribed every tune of Eck Robertson that I can find, except for the recordings where Robertson played second fiddle to Gilliland.  If you are aware of any recordings of Eck Robertson that I have not transcribed, please contact me.  I would be especially interested if, by some miracle, recordings of Robertson playing Apple Blossom, General Logan's Reel, or Dominion Hornpipe have surfaced.  He recorded these tunes in the 1920s but they were never released, and were not among the collection of field recordings that was provided to me.

collection of field recordings that was provided to me.

54 tunes found in this collection.

Click on table headers to sort tunes.

Name Type Key Date Added Date Updated
Amarillo Waltz Waltz G 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Beaumont Rag Rag F 2013-06-30 2013-06-30
Bill Cheatum, Brilliancy Medley Part Three Reel or Breakdown A 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Billy in the Low Ground Reel or Breakdown C 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Billy Wilson, Brilliancy Medley Part Two Reel or Breakdown A 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Bonaparte's Retreat March D 2013-07-28 2013-07-28
Brilliancy (Billy Wilson, Drunken Billy Goat, Wake Up Susan), Brilliancy Medley Part One and Reprise Reel or Breakdown A 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Brown Kelly Waltz Waltz G 2013-12-07 2013-12-07
Cacklin’ Hen Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-23 2013-11-23
Cattle in the Canebreak (Hell Among the Yearlings) Reel or Breakdown A mixolydian 2013-10-12 2013-12-23
Chadwick (Buffalo Nickel) Reel or Breakdown D 2013-07-14 2013-07-20
Cotton-Eyed Joe Reel or Breakdown G 2013-07-28 2013-07-28
Dill Pickles (Dill Pickle Rag) Rag G and C 2013-12-21 2013-12-21
Done Gone Reel or Breakdown B flat 2013-06-30 2013-06-30
Dry And Dusty Reel or Breakdown D 2013-07-28 2013-07-28
Dusty Miller Reel or Breakdown D 2013-06-30 2013-06-30
Eighth of January Reel or Breakdown D 2013-10-12 2013-10-12
Flop-Eared Mule Reel or Breakdown G and C 2013-10-12 2013-10-12
Forky Deer Reel or Breakdown D 2013-07-28 2013-07-28
Forsaken Lover (Faded Love) Two-Step D 2013-10-12 2013-10-12
Get Up in the Cool Reel or Breakdown A 2013-11-03 2013-11-03
Girl I Left Behind Me, The Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-03 2013-11-03
Great Big Taters Reel or Breakdown G 2013-05-04 2013-06-16
Grey Eagle Reel or Breakdown A 2013-12-15 2013-12-15
Grigsby’s Hornpipe Hornpipe A 2013-11-30 2013-11-30
Hawk Caught the Chicken Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-23 2013-11-23
Home Sweet Home Waltz G 2013-12-07 2013-12-07
Island Unknown, The Waltz D 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Kansas City Rag Rag D 2013-12-21 2013-12-21
Kentucky Waltz Waltz C 2013-12-07 2013-12-07
Leather Britches Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-30 2013-11-30
Limerock (Old Limerock) Rag A 2013-12-21 2013-12-21
Lost Goose (Call of the Wild Goose) Novelty Tune G 2013-11-16 2013-11-16
Lost Indian Reel or Breakdown D 2013-08-11 2013-08-11
My Frog Ain't No Bullfrog Rag F 2013-07-14 2013-07-14
Ragtime Annie Rag D and G 2013-06-30 2015-02-26
Rochester Schottische Schottische D 2013-10-12 2013-10-12
Run, Boy, Run Reel or Breakdown G 2013-07-28 2013-07-28
Rye Whiskey (Drunkard’s Hiccups) Waltz A 2013-12-07 2013-12-07
Sailor's Hornpipe Hornpipe A 2013-07-14 2013-07-14
Sally Goodin Reel or Breakdown A 2013-06-30 2013-06-30
Sally Johnson Reel or Breakdown G 2013-06-16 2013-06-16
Say Old Man, Can You Play the Fiddle? Reel or Breakdown E minor 2013-11-03 2013-11-03
Snowbird in the Ashbank Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-16 2013-11-16
Stumptown Stomp Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-30 2013-11-30
Ten Cent Cotton (East Tennessee Blues) Rag C 2013-07-14 2013-07-14
Tennessee Waltz Waltz C 2013-12-07 2013-12-07
Texas Wagoner Reel or Breakdown C 2013-07-14 2013-07-14
There’s a Brown Skin Girl Down the Road Somewhere Rag G 2013-12-21 2013-12-21
Tom And Jerry Reel or Breakdown A 2013-07-28 2013-07-28
Turkey in the Straw Reel or Breakdown C 2013-10-06 2013-10-06
Two Rubies Rag G 2013-12-21 2013-12-21
Uncle Joe Reel or Breakdown G 2013-11-03 2013-11-03
Wagoner Hornpipe Hornpipe C 2013-11-03 2013-11-03