All I Got's Done and Gone

by Stacy Phillips

Dock "Doc" Roberts of Madison County, Kentucky (1897-1978) is one of the greatest of old time fiddlers from the the Golden Age of 78 rpm recordings. His playing is assured, smooth, in-tune and authentic, with very articulate noting and bowing.

He acknowledged Afro-American Owen Walker as one of his prime sources. Among the pieces he learned from Walker is "All That I've Got's Done Gone". It is an example of the under-recorded repertoire old time fiddle tunes that once were an important part of black America's music.

Roberts recorded this piece twice, apparently revised from Walker's original, first in 1925 and then in 1930. This transcription reflects the latter version.

Roberts declined offers to play with well known country musicians, and remained in his home county. He preferred his music part time, occasionally appearing on local radio or for dances.

You can find this piece, along with over seven hundred others, in "The Phillips Collection of Traditional American Fiddle Tunes - Volume 2". This classic collection will soon be available as several smaller books.

The complete recordings of Doc Roberts are available on Document Records, though that company is notorious for printing only a small number of their releases. There is an excellent short biography of Roberts in Charles Wolfe's "The Devil's Box" (Vanderbilt University Press/Country Music Foundation Press).


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