In the summer of 1922, 34-year-old Texas fiddler A.C. “Eck” Robertson and 74-year-old Oklahoma fiddler Henry C. Gilliland performed together at the Old Confederate Soldiers’ Reunion in Richmond, VA. When the festivities ended, they took the train to New York City to see if they could get an audition with Victor Records. They got the audition and, on June 30, entered the recording studio to make their first recording.
“Arkansaw Traveler” was the first of four fiddle duets they recorded that day and the first to be released by Victor Records. It stands as the first recording in the history of Country music.
Listen: http://www.archive.org/details/Gilliland_and_Robertson-Arkansaw_Traveler . (I don’t know why this says June 15, 1922.)
The next day, July 1, 1922, Eck went back to the studio alone and recorded six solo fiddle pieces including “Sallie Gooden”
On September 1, 1922, Victor released the first record from these sessions: “Sallie Gooden” backed with the duet “Arkansaw Traveler,” but did not really promote it until April, 1923. In an advertisement from then, “Sallie Gooden” is described as: “a medley of jigs and reels, in the very best style of the travelling cowboy fiddler.” In Country Music Originals (2007), Tony Russell writes: “”Sallie Gooden” is not just good for its time, it is great for all time, a small but perfect masterpiece of American music.”
Thanks again to the folks at Internet Archive, you can listen to “Sallie Gooden” (or “Sally Gooden”) and see for yourself.
Click on this link: http:www.archive.org/details/Sallygooden and enjoy.
We are most fortunate to have web sites like archive.org to refer to for so much great material!
My impression of these songs is that while “Sally Gooden” is in my mind what a “down home” country fiddlin’ song should sound like, “Arkansas Traveler” has more of a Celtic sound to it. Also, a hint of Cajun. An interesting blend of styles.
Keep posting these old pub dom recordings. Wonderful pieces….