33 “Brilliancy Medley” by Eck Robertson & Family


March 11, 2010 by gadaya

Eck Robertson’s World

Eck Robertson will always be remembered both as one of the great old-time fiddler of all time and as one of the first country musician to record for the disc industry. On his visit to the Victor Talking Machine sudios in New-York in 1922, he recorded with an elder fellow fiddler Henry C. Gilliland the two classic southern fiddle tunes “Arkansas Traveller” and “Turkey in the straw”. This would be the first document of rural american folk music recorded in history. In the years to come there would be many more, thousands of tunes and songs from rural america, appearing most of the time in the Hillbilly/Old-times tunes categories of recording companies.  His virtuoso 1922 recording of “Sally Gooden” is one of the most influential fiddle recording ever and would expand the Texas fiddle style and the fiddle contest tradition still alive today in the South. Eck would continue to record on his own or with family members until 1929. After a 30 years hiatus where Eck made a living tuning pianos and repairing string instruments in his shop, he was “rediscovered” by members of The New Lost City Ramblers and performed at the Newport Folk Festival for a new audience of young urban folk enthousiasts.

Click here to go to Eck Robertson’s biography

A complete page about Henry C. Gilliland, the old-time fiddler who recorded with Eck on his first recording

-Here’s a compilation of Eck Robertson’s early recordings.(Published on cd by County Records):

  1. Brilliancy Medley
  2. Texas Wagoner
  3. Arkansas Traveller
  4. Great Big Taters
  5. Sallie Goodin
  6. There’s A Brownskin Girl Down The Road Somewhere
  7. Ragtime Annie
  8. Amarillo Waltz
  9. Done Gone
  10. The Island Unknown Part 1
  11. The Island Unknown Part 2
  12. Sally Johnson-Billy In The Lowground
  13. Turkey In The Straw
  14. Brown Kelly Waltz Part 1
  15. Brown Kelly Waltz Part 2
  16. Run Boy Run

Download Here

To listen to the out-of-print lp of Eck Robertson recorded by The New Lost City Ramblers in the 1960’s go to one of my favorite music web-site, Down Home Radio Show

The Brilliancy Variations

“The Brilliancy medley” recorded by Eck Robertson is a wonderful mix of tunes that Eck put together for another of his virtuoso performance on the fiddle. Brilliancy is a medley of the following fiddle tunes: Wake Up Susan, Bill Cheatham, Little Billy Wilson and Drunken Billy Goat. All this tunes are in the key of A and have related melodic and harmonic progressions.

-I have compiled a few variations of all this fiddle tunes, with old and new recordings by outstanding musicians. Enjoy!

  1. Brilliancy Medley Mary LaPlant Just Fiddlin’ Around
  2. Brilliancy Luke Bulla Luke and Jenny Anne Bulla
  3. Brilliancy Thomas Bailey Brilliancy
  4. Brilliancy Carroll Best Say Old Man, Can You Play The Banjo
  5. Bill Cheatum The Parker Sisters Side By Side
  6. Bill Cheatham Blind Joe Mangrum & Fred Shiver Nashville Early String Bands, Vol. 2 [2000]
  7. Bill Cheatham The Stony Mountain Boys Galax, Virginia Old Fiddler’s Convention
  8. Billy Wilson Jarvie Hall Traditional Fiddle Music of Kentucky : Along the Kentucky Ri
  9. Little Billy Wilson The Parker Sisters Side By Side
  10. Billy Wilson Uncle Jimmy Thompson Nashville Early String Bands, Vol. 2 [2000]
  11. Drunken Billy Goat Dick Fegy Flatpicking Guitar Festival
  12. Drunken Billy Goat Tony O’Rourke An Sliabh Glas
  13. Wake Up Susan Al Clauser And His Oklahoma Outlaws The Best Of Western Swing
  14. Wake up Susan Lyman Enloe Fiddle Tunes I Recall
  15. Wake Up Susan Bill Clifton And His Dixie Mountain Boys Authentic Rare Bluegrass : Blue Ridge Label Sides 1951-1954


(Photos: Thomas Bailey and Uncle Jimmy Thompson)

-Here’s another great rendition of The Brilliancy Medley by the famous english folk-rock group Fairport Convention in 1973 (Richard Thompson was unfortunatly absent as he was starting his solo career). Notice Dave Swarbrick’s nice sombrero and sheer virtuosity on the fiddle… Notice also that drummer’s Dave Mattacks is playing bass guitar on this one…


5 thoughts on “33 “Brilliancy Medley” by Eck Robertson & Family

  1. Ken says:

    track 10 appears to be corrupt on the compilation of Eck Robertson’s early recordings.(Published on cd by County Records) Tried to download it three times same error when unzipping the files.


  2. amos says:

    I think the second half of that Fairport Convention clip is a tune called “Crazy Creek,” popular in the North Carolina and Virginia areas in the 70s.

  3. Davey Bob says:

    Having same trouble as Ken with Track 10… a real shame as I’d love to hear it!

  4. Peter says:

    Any chance you could fix Track 10? It’s still problematic, I get a CRC error when unzipping.

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