Eck Robertson 1983

Alexander “Eck” Campbell Robertson was born November 20, 1887 in Delaney, Madison County, Arkansas; but moved to Texas with his family when he was three years old. His father, T. C. Robertson, ran a small farm and also served as community preacher. At the age of five, Eck took up musical instruments; working first with a fiddle he made himself from a long-necked gourd and a tanned cat hide. As he grew older, his proficiency increased and so did his versatility as he learned to play banjo and guitar.

Eck Robertson was among the very first individuals to make recordings during the phonograph industry’s first hesitant and casual encounter with country music. In 1922 Robertson traveled to Virginia to play for a Civil War Veteran Reunion. On the spur of the moment, he decided to go to New York to make some records. The two numbers were Sally Goodin’ and Arkansas Traveler. In1923, Robertson performed on WPAB Dallas Radio Station. These radio performances may well have been the first by a folk musician who had earlier recorded for commercial records–earning him the title, “Victor Artist” by the Fort Worth Star Telegram. In 1930 a Victor talent scout arranged another session for the Texas fiddler and his family.

Though his records did not catapult Robertson into fame, his music made a definite impact on fiddlers in his home state of Texas. Some of the best Texas fiddlers of recent years have acknowledged their debt to Eck Robertson. Until his death, February 15,1975 in Borger, Texas he remained formidable contestant.