Asa Martin and his partner Fiddlin' Doc Roberts were two of the best selling old-time artists on Gennett during the latetr part of the 1920s. Both had the chance to launch a nation-wide career in music, but due to Roberts unwillingness to travel and stay away from his Kentucky home, this never happened. After Martin and Roberts parted ways, it was perhaps too late for Martin. He was born in 1900 in Winchester, KY, to a piano teacher and a fiddler. Apart from the traditional Old-Timey, Martin was heavily influenced by the travelling vaudeville and minstrel shows. As a young man, he went to a medicine school, but left it because of the his bad financial situation and decided to become a professional musician. First he played as a background musician for silent movies and then travelled with tent shows. Around this time, Martin met Doc Roberts and they soon formed a duo, which recorded first in 1928 for Gennett. With the arrival of Roberts' son James (later known as James Carson), who played mandolin and sang, the duo became the Fiddlin' Doc Roberts Trio. Til 1934, the trio recorded countless sides for Gennett and later ARC, but Doc Roberts left the music business in 1934. Martin kept on performing in Kentucky and had his daily radio show on WLAP and appeared on several other radio stations. In 1938, he recorded for Decca but also returned to a day job in 1942 or so. The folk revival of the 1960s caused Martin to perform again with a new band. He cut an album in 1974 and gave one last concert with Doc & James Roberts at Berea College. Martin died in 1979.
Here are a couple of his songs.
1. Gamblin' Cowboy
2. Homestead on the Farm
3. Sunny Tennessee (with James Roberts)