Robert Chancellor 2018


When Robert Chancellor entered this world on June 25, 1946, he unwittingly was born into a family where music would become a driving force, and he would play a major role in the world of old-time fiddle music beginning at a young age and continuing for a lifetime. Robert was the youngest of five children born to James Houston Chancellor and Bessie Lee Chancellor.  His older brothers Allen and Jim (Texas Shorty) had been playing as a duo for several years, when the family had a chance encounter with the then current World Championship fiddler Benny Thomasson.  An immediate bond between the two families was formed, and the Chancellors’ lives from that point forward would center around the pursuit of excellence in Texas style fiddling.  Robert was recruited at a young age to learn rhythm guitar, and soon began travelling the fiddle contest circuit with his father and brother, and often the entire family, in tow.

Robert quickly honed his skills on the guitar.  He was primarily self-taught, but was fortunate to have greats such as Omega Burden teach and instruct him during frequent jam sessions, with such men tempering their seeming gruffness to try to help someone with such potential.  Robert’s rock-solid timing and resonant chords provided the perfect rhythm for the championship fiddling that his brother Jim would become so well known for.

Throughout the years, Robert has been a sought-after accompanist at contests, always eager to play with everyone who might ask.   Great rhythm players, though often in the shadows, can bring out the best in the fiddlers that they are accompanying, and Robert is a prime example of that.  Whether at a small contest in Alvarado, Texas or at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Robert has offered his consistent and recognizable playing as the foundation for fiddlers great and small to build on.