Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lonnie Roberstson, Missouri Ozarks Fiddler

I have just about come to the conclusion that if someone was to ask me who my favorite fiddler was I believe I would say it was Lonnie Robertson. He is essentially an "Ozark style" fiddler and that is what I most enjoy. It was hard to just pick one fiddler as a favorite. Why even do it? At any rate, Lonnie is right at the top of my list. Cyril Stinnett is right behind him but that's for later.
I am not going to attempt a full on bio yet, but he was born in Ozark County just a bit south of Bob Holt's stomping grounds. When he was 15 he moved to northern Missouri and eventually married and in the forties moved to Springfield Mo. He did short term gigs for various radio stations in the region and ended up operating at small motel in Theodosia Mo. for a number of years only to return to Springfield where he passed away in 1981.
I understand he was influenced by Uncle Bob Walters of Tekamah Nebraska who is said to be one of the most influential fiddlers of the Missouri Valley.
I will say more about Lonnie later on when I compile some more information on him. I intend to do what I can to keep his memory alive here.
I have his album, Lonnies Breakdown and it is a very fine collection of the old fiddle tunes.(Rounder) If you don't have that one and you love Ozark fiddlers then you must buy this one. I Tunes has it by golly and that's where I got my copy.
I have not found out how to post mp-3's here yet and am going to work on that.
In spite of the fact that Lonnie played professionally for many years and made his living off music the sad truth is but for the efforts of Gordon McCann who recorded 70 sessions with him, the work of Lonnie Robertson would be long forgotten. Again, I thank God For Gordon McCann! His preservation efforts have proved to be invaluable!


  1. Lonnie was a great one, wish I`d known him. Keep up the good work.

  2. I forgot to mention he actually made at least 5 LP`s. I have 4 of them on the Caney Mountain label, but don`t have the Rounder LP. Check ebay for them, that`s where 3 of mine came from. The other one I have came from a deceased great-uncles estate.

  3. I have read he made others. I wish I had those!!!
    I plan on more posts about him later on. He is someone that folks need to know about. When I find a way to post MP-3's I will put a couple up by Lonnie. Thanks for commenting!!! I will have to get with you on the titles and such.

  4. Well I too think he is great, he was my grandfather. I remember growing up and visiting them in Springfield where there were at least 7 men sitting in his kitchen jamming out. My father included who played the fiddle left handed but was forced to play guitar right handed because of Lonnie. His son (my father, Jarrett Jackson Robertson) was a gifted guitar player and singer. He too passed away in 1993 where he was serving as a 2 star General in the Army. I am proud to be one of his 5 granddaughters. He was a mean pool player too by the way.

  5. Thanks for posting a comment about your Grandfather. The info is very appreciated. Feel free to email me with more!

  6. Kansas,

    I believe we have more tapes of my grandfather. Would you want me to see all that we have? My guess if you have all of Gordon's music from Lonnie, you probably have them already. We can search my Mom's house too (Jarrett's (son of Lonnie) ex-wife). One of my sister's posted about the house and music and men gathered around with Lonnie in the middle - that is my recollection as well. I don't know if we truly appreciate the gifted man he was as well as my father.


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