Martin, Asa, 1900-1979

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Asa Martin was born 1900 in Clark County, Kentucky where he grew up hearing music at home and at various traveling shows. He tried his hand as an entertainer, first singing on small vaudeville shows and eventually on commercial recordings and radio with Madison County, Kentucky fiddler, Doc Roberts. On their recordings for Gennett and other labels, he played guitar with Roberts and performed a varied repertoire of songs that included parodies, traditional ballads, and current popular songs, singing both solo and duets with Doc Roberts' son, James. In about 1935 Martin set out on his own, forming a band that at various times was heard on several Kentucky radio stations including WHAS in Louisville, WLAP in Lexington, and WCMI in Ashland. At the onset of World War II he left performing for factory work in Ohio, returning to live in Kentucky only after retirement in 1965. He was soon drawn into the 1960s folk revival resulting in reunion appearances with Doc and James Roberts. The Cumberland Rangers, the old time music band Martin formed on his return to Kentucky consisted of Jim Gaskin, Grady "Buz" Brazeale, Gilbert Thomas, and Earl Barnes. They were heard regularly during the 1970s on Irvine, Kentucky's WIRV; performed at a wide variety of public venues locally and nationally including one of the Smithsonian Folk Festivals; and in 1974 recorded an old time music album, Dr. Ginger Blue. Asa Martin died August 15, 1979.

From the description of Asa Martin collection / by Asa Martin. (Berea College). WorldCat record id: 269452796

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Green, Archie. Archie Green papers, 1944-2009. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Meade, Guthrie T., 1932-1991. Guthrie T. Meade collection, 1817-1991. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Martin, Asa, 1900-1979. Asa Martin collection / by Asa Martin. Berea College, Hutchins Library
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Barnes, Earl. person
associatedWith Brazeale, Grady "Buzz". person
associatedWith Cumberland Rangers (musical group). person
associatedWith Gaskin, Jim. person
associatedWith Green, Archie. person
associatedWith Meade, Guthrie T., 1932-1991. person
associatedWith Roberts, Fiddlin' Doc, 1897-1978. person
associatedWith Thomas, Gilbert. person
associatedWith WIRV (Radio Station : Irvine, Ky.) corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Radio programs
Country music
Country musicians


Birth 1900-06-28

Death 1979-08-15



Ark ID: w6zk6w1v

SNAC ID: 7463601