Apr. 26, 1897 Kirksville Madison County Kentucky, USA
Aug. 4, 1978 Richmond Madison County Kentucky, USA
Born in Kirksville, Kentucky. Popular country recording artist on Gennett, ARC and Paramount labels in the 1920s and 1930s under the name "Fiddlin' Doc Roberts". He performed shows often with fellow local musician Asa Martin from Irvine, Kentucky, and played shows around the state of Kentucky. Though his records were successful and there was considerable pressure to tour nationwide, Roberts refused and preferred to stay close to home. He had regular radio shows in Council Bluffs, Iowa and Lexington, Kentucky which tired him out and soured him on traveling and big cities. By 1935, at the peak of his success, he blew off the lucrative offers to tour and went back into farming full-time. He was "rediscovered" in the folk revival in the 1960s but by then he had all but given up fiddling. He eventually was convinced to perform at Berea College in 1974. He died in 1978 at the age of 82. A rare acetate recording made by him at home in 1954 turned up after his death, and his son James donated it to Berea College's archives.