One hundred years ago, two champion fiddlers, Eck Robertson of Texas and Henry C. Gilliland of Oklahoma, recorded what are now widely hailed as the first commercial recordings of country music. This interview and performance, recorded on October 28, 2022 as part of the Museum’s “Live at the Hall” series, commemorates the duo’s historic 1922 recordings—particularly Robertson’s masterpiece, “Sallie Gooden”—and features special guest Laura Jane Houle, a Texas fiddler and scholar of the tradition who grew up playing fiddle and formerly toured with the country band Flatland Cavalry. She holds a master’s degree in musicology and has completed her Ph.D. coursework in fine arts at Texas Tech University; her research analyzes playing techniques and the historical influence of Robertson and other fiddlers within country music.
During the program, Houle and the Museum’s Patrick Huber discuss Robertson, his fiddling style, and his signature selection, “Sallie Gooden,” and answer questions from the audience. Houle also demonstrates a few fiddling techniques and performs tunes associated with Robertson.
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