Release Date: 10/15/02
The first major Country star. His influence continues
Born in September 1897, son of a railroad maintenance boss, Jimmie Rodgers was interested in little but music. He disliked school and struggled to hold down a regular job. By 1920, a failed marriage behind him, Jimmie married Carrie Williamson, in spite of her parents' opposition. In 1925 Jimmie was diagnosed with TB. He concentrated on music which he augmented with irregular railroad work. 1927 found Jimmie, Carrie and their daughter family boarding with Carrie's parents. Work and Jimmie's strength were waning. Seeking a job, Jimmie visited Asheville, NC. Finding no work, he stuck in town, hanging out with local musicians. He started to perform unpaid on local radio which led to live gigs. By mid 1927, Jimmie and his band had a residency at a local resort. Enter Ralph Peer. Peer toured the south for the Victor label on 'field recording' trips. Jimmie and his band attended a Peer session in Bristol, Tennessee. Jimmie fell out with the band, so he cut two sides solo - Sleep, Baby Sleep and The Soldier's Sweetheart. Sales of the resulting record were said to be fair. To get the facts, Jimmie chased Peer to New York. A session at Victor's Camden Studios resulted. T For Texas (known as Blue Yodel) and Away Out On The Mountain sold at least half a million. The next session, in February 1928, featured two sidemen who had run into Rodgers by chance. In The Jailhouse Now and Blue Yodel #2 were among eight songs - two co-written by one of the pick-up players. By the end of 1928, Jimmie was headlining a package touring through the southern states and was rich. His success continued. During the next few years, as revealed here, he had many more hits and recorded, incredibly, with Louis Armstrong. Success was marred only by his need to tour incessantly, making his failing health even worse.By his last recording in 1933, he was almost too weak to stand. He died two days later.At the time of his death, his sales were 10% of Victor's total.
|Label: Jsp Records|
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