Texas fiddler performs on first commercial country music recording

June 30th, 1922

On this day in 1922, legendary Texas fiddler Alexander (Eck) Robertson, along with fiddler Henry C. Gilliland, made what most country music historians consider the first commercial recordings of country music. The duets included the famous "Arkansas Traveler" and "Turkey in the Straw." The following day, Robertson returned to the studio without Gilliland and recorded six additional tracks solo, including the popular "Sallie Gooden," as well as two tracks that were never released. The Victor Talking Machine Company issued a limited release of "Arkansas Traveler" and "Sallie Gooden" in September 1922, but not until April 1923 was the disc in wide circulation. Two other recordings of Robertson were released later in 1923 and 1924. Robertson set the trend for future performers, as fourteen Central Texas fiddlers succeeded him by recording commercially in the years shortly following his first recording.

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Texas fiddler performs on first commercial country music recording

June 30th, 1922

On this day in 1922, legendary Texas fiddler Alexander (Eck) Robertson, along with fiddler Henry C. Gilliland, made what most country music historians consider the first commercial recordings of country music. The duets included the famous "Arkansas Traveler" and "Turkey in the Straw." The following day, Robertson returned to the studio without Gilliland and recorded six additional tracks solo, including the popular "Sallie Gooden," as well as two tracks that were never released. The Victor Talking Machine Company issued a limited release of "Arkansas Traveler" and "Sallie Gooden" in September 1922, but not until April 1923 was the disc in wide circulation. Two other recordings of Robertson were released later in 1923 and 1924. Robertson set the trend for future performers, as fourteen Central Texas fiddlers succeeded him by recording commercially in the years shortly following his first recording.

«   Previous Next   »

Related Handbook of Texas Articles

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With more than 27,000 articles about Texas history, the Texas State Historical Association's Handbook of Texas is the largest online encyclopedia about all things Texas. Now you can celebrate the history of Texas every day by activating your free subscription to Texas Day by Day. Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles. It's one of the best ways to learn more about Texas history — in only 15 minutes a day!

Activate your free subscription to Texas Day by Day and you can:

  • Explore Texas history each day in bite-sized pieces conveniently delivered to your inbox each morning
  • Astound your friends with your Texas history prowess
  • Get in-depth looks at some of the overlooked events and landmarks in Texas history
  • Discover new places to explore in the Lone Star State
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