JIMMIE RODGERS

(1897 - 1933)

(Born September 8, 1897, Meridian, Mississippi;
died May 26, 1933, New York, New York)

Country music, then known as Hillbilly music, started with him and his blue yodeling.  Known for fourteen years as the Singing Brakman because he worked on the southern railroads out of his native Meridian, Mississippi,  he later was dubbed the "Father of Country Music."

Recording for the first time in 1927 at pioneer sessions that included the debut also of the Carter Family, he reportedly sold over 20 million records in the six year stretch of his career.  Though white and a superb yodeler, he was also a great blues singer.

Virtually all of his albums are blues titled.  He died of tuberculosis in New York City two days after a final RCA session in May 1933, leaving a legacy of song that influenced many singers, including Ernest Tubb, and Howlin’ Wolf.   In 1963, he was the first performer -- together with Hank Williams and Fred Rose -- to be elected to the newly formed Country Music Hall of Fame.

Arnold Shaw - American Dictionary of Pop / Rock.

Nolan Porterfield's Jimmie Rodgers : The Life and Times of America's Blue Yodeler


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