Eck Robertson

Alexander Eck Robertson (born November 20, 1887 in Delaney, Arkansas, died February 15, 1975 in Borger, Texas) was an American fiddle player, mostly known for commercially recording the first country music songs in 1922 with Henry Gilliland. Robertson 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...

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